Those who live with elder family members know the long-cost of in-home care, and the strain it can be for their own daily life. But what if the elder(s) you are caring for needs professional care, or hire someone who can be fully responsible and maintain that needed level of care? A nursing home admission can save a loved one, but without a written agreement, the family members are vulnerable, and the healthcare providers would not be sure who is responsible for the care taking.
Before an elderly person is eligible for assisted living or in-home care from Medicaid, they must have limited income and assets. Without a written agreement, the elder who pays a family member for care can be disqualified from Medicaid Coverage if they need assisted living care in the future. In order to prevent these candidates from giving away their money and/or resources to qualify for Medicaid, the federal government implemented the “look-back period” or a set period of time prior to the individuals application that reviews all the financial transactions that the senior has made.
For example, if a life care agreement is in place and has been drafted correctly, it will show that the payments to the family for care was a valid and fair expense. A properly drafted care agreement can assist in reducing one’s assets in order to apply for Medicaid, receive the care they need, and keeping their financial resources within the confines of their family; however, it is imperative that the personal care agreement does not violate the Medicaid Look Back Period. If a transaction is found in violation of the rules- the applicant will be given a penalty that makes the individual non-eligible for Medicaid in a set time frame. All meaning that the specified elder will not be able to receive any care services paid for by Medicaid for a certain number of months.
Take care and ensure a stable future for you and your family by drafting a Caregiver Contract today.