At least once a week, someone will post a question on this board that basically amounts to asking how to “protect” some parental asset or amount of money and still apply for/qualify for Medicaid. Inevitably, such a poster gets jumped on by numerous people replying that trying to protect assets is “cheating” and grossly unfair to other taxpayers.
I’m not so sure. I'm not advocating trying to circumvent the system -- but I would like to start a discussion about whether it's immoral. I’d like to explain why I’m not so sure, and then I’d like to know what other people think.
Imagine two identical families. We’ll call them Family A and Family B. In both families, Mom and Dad work. Both Parents A and Parents B have identical jobs and identical incomes, and both families have three kids.
That is where the similarities end.
In Family A, even before the kids are born, Dad and Mom scrimp and sacrifice to save money. This an old-fashioned phrase for an old-fashioned concept, but Dad and Mom are 100% dedicated to it, and their commitment does not change as the kids grow.
The family goes on vacation every third year instead of every year. These vacations are usually “road trips” and involve camping in tents and peeing in terrifying, spider-infested outhouses to save money on hotels. Getting to eat out once a month is a huge treat, and usually occurs only at low-end chain restaurants with a mid-week “kids eat free” night. For their entire public-school education, the kids dress primarily in clothes that their mother sews by hand instead of wearing clothes bought from the store ... and sure, maybe they get teased and made fun of at school, because they’re wearing polyester pants instead of blue jeans, but Mom and Dad decide it’s a worthwhile sacrifice because the money that is being put away will make a difference in the kids’ lives later, when it really “matters.”
The family drives a beat-up old car that Dad manages to keep running year after year because hey, maybe the upholstery is all split open and the windshield is cracked, but at least it’s paid for. Cable TV is out of the question, so if a show doesn’t come in over rabbit ears to the family’s one small TV in the living room, no one watches it.
The house, which is uncomfortably small for the family and not in the best neighborhood – and which certainly does not feature hardwood floors or a kitchen with granite counters or stainless steel appliances! – is one that can be managed on a mortgage that still leaves a fair amount of each month’s paycheck available to go into savings instead. The family COULD qualify financially for a “nicer” place, but Dad and Mom believe that it’s better to put the money away so that it will be there to make a difference for their kids down the line – maybe by buying a college education or by helping them to buy their own homes when the time comes. Everyone sacrifices, sacrifices, sacrifices. Eventually, even the modest mortgage is paid off. Gradually, the little nest egg grows.
In Family B, by contrast, just about every dime that ever comes in is spent immediately. The family motto is “Instantaneous Gratification Isn’t Soon Enough!” The family denies itself nothing, ever.
The whole family goes on vacation to Disney World every year, always staying at an official Disney resort (where the kids get their own room). At home, all the kids have their own TVs (which get every premium channel imaginable), laptops and iPads and get new iPhones every time Apple releases an “upgrade.” Eventually, the kids get driver’s licenses, and guess how the family celebrates this rite of passage? You got it! Mom and Dad buy them their own cars. The family eats out at nice restaurants three or four times a week. The family car is replaced at least every two years, and loaded with every option the family’s creaking credit score can support.
The kids get designer clothes and shoes and the latest video games and pretty much whatever else they want at every gift-giving holiday. The family lives in a huge house in a nice neighborhood, with a pool and a hot tub, and yes, they’re carrying a lot of debt on their credit cards, and yes, they’re quite a bit overextended on the mortgage and the car notes, but what the heck – isn’t that the American way? Sure, there’s no nest egg ... but what does that matter? Living life in the moment is what it’s all about.
Fast-forward. Dad is now 75. Tragically, Mom died 6 years ago from cancer, and Dad has now been diagnosed with a progressive dementia, and will likely soon need very expensive long-term memory care in a facility.
In Family B, there are next to no savings. After retiring, Mom and Dad B traveled a bit, and spent every dime that came in in pension and Social Security income. After Mom B died, the overextended mortgage on the house turned completely upside down, and Dad B abandoned the equity in the house and walked away ....
(Continued in Part B, first post)
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First, anytime you get behind the wheel, you're required to have your drivers license, registration and proof of insurance with you. Lacking any of these can get you a hefty fine and possibly your car impounded if the cop really wanted to confiscate your car. If a car is impounded, it's up to the owner to prove they have a valid drivers license, proof of insurance, and the registration proving rightful ownership.
If you get behind the wheel of a car and have no insurance on your car, your car can be confiscated if you're involved in an accident. Not only can your car because if it's gated but you can also be slapped with a very heavy fines and maybe even some jail time. You can get in very serious trouble for not having insurance on your car before putting it on the road. I know Ohio is very strict about that for starters, they are very serious about drivers having required documents before even getting behind the wheel.
Now, let's say you're involved in an accident and you have your license, registration and proof of insurance but no health insurance. The bill will go to you once they find out who you are because all they have to do is run your plate during the investigation and find the car is registered to you. If you were at fault, you'll definitely be paying out of your own pocket for any damages you caused.
Now, let's say you're not at fault. There'll still be an investigation but the only difference is the other driver will be liable. Now, let's say the other driver doesn't have any insurance or maybe even not enough of it. Now it rolls over to your insurance company and your premiums may increase (unless you have accident forgiveness). With Allstate, I recall when I had three bikes on the road and every so often my money order would be returned and I would get a break of about three or four months. I don't know how they run things now, it's been years since I was with Allstate. However, I hear you where you mention a car veering out of control. Our town just had an incident where a car went left of center on one of our main highways and crashed head-on into an oncoming car going in the right direction. There was also another situation where there was a demented elderly person who got pulled over for going the wrong way on one of our interstates. I don't know how she ended up on the other side going the wrong way on I 71, but she did because I heard about it. She could've easily gotten in a head on collision on 71 and she could've killed not only herself but someone else. Needless to say, her license was permanently revoked and she's no longer allowed to drive but she may still have the car. It was said she won't let the car go, but at some time someone is going to have to take it from her because she can no longer drive it. I don't know what her family is going to do or how they will handle this, but you do have a very strong point on cars getting into accidents with unsuspecting victims. Our area has seemingly more accidents during summer and we just had a life flight pick up someone late last night. You can just about bet the patient was probably in some kind of car wreck, we have a lot of them through the summer but most of them seem to be out of town oddly enough from what I've noticed. Wherever there is high speed, there is more of a risk for accidents especially when 71 is now 70 mph, whereas it was 65 before. I think it should be dropped weight around to 50 mph and left there because lower speeds mean fewer accidents. Another thing to consider is higher speeds means your car becomes lighter on the road because the air passes underneath the car, lifting up the car a bit, making the car even easier to maneuver. Power steering is called "power" steering for a reason, because high-speed's make power steering even easier. If you don't believe me, take a new modern car and go out on the interstate for a spin. Now, tap on the break and pay close attention to the suspension as the car slightly lowers back toward the ground. See what I mean? I've driven enough that I notice this, cars have a suspension system for a reason, it serves a specific purpose through its function. It not only makes the ride easier, but it's also involved in weight adjustment on the tires as you're going down the road at a higher speed and your car gradually lifts up with the air passing not only around but also under your car. The force of that wind actually does lift up your car a bit as you're going down the interstate. This is what makes higher speeds and accidents so dangerous, so I hear you! Remember, my dad worked his whole life for Ford and we have no dummies in the family.
As for having some types of insurance coverage that won't pay out when it's needed, that was covered in some of the YouTube videos under elder financial abuse, exploitation and predatory guardianship abuse. Somewhere along the line this was mentioned so I'm not a bit surprised by the Yahoo article jacobsonbob found. Retirees actually have every reason to be very concerned, especially with the information showing up on the World Wide Web we know as the Internet. The information is out there for the finding, we just need to find it and really wise up to what's going on that most people don't even know about. It sounds like someone may be just trying to throw people off guard through some of these articles and i'm not one of those kinds of people who will let down my guard now that I know what's really going on behind the publics backs and right under our noses. Abusive guardianship is a real white-collar crime that goes unpunished because abusive guardians are never held liable as evidence is destroyed in cases where after the last dollar, the patient conveniently dies and the elder's body is cremated to destroy evidence, all without the family knowing until later. and it's time the public start fighting back and bringing stuff like this to a screeching halt. I don't blame retirees for being ridiculously worried about running out of money and trying to put things in place to protect themselves because as you get older, you tend to become more vulnerable but not in all cases. I had someone who was like a grandpa to me and he was real sharp right to the end and even ran his own 16 acre farm in a neighboring town. Yes, he even had his own horses and we even went trail riding one day. We used to ride on the 16 acre farm and he did pretty much all the chores, and even maintained his own garden in his 70s or 80s. I love my pappy to this day even though he's gone. He was one of the few World War II vets even left and he was definitely wise for his age. Yes, he probably had some money tucked away and I don't blame him for saving his money and providing for his own needs. He was responsible enough to make sure he had enough money to last the rest of his life after retiring from a nearby steel mill he worked at for a number of years. He made a good retirement in order to have the horse farm, and he knew how to stay healthy. We can all learn quite a bit from our elders whether or not it fits our unique situations. Knowledge is power and our elders are our teachers. What they teach may not fit our unique situations right now, but someday you never know when you may end up needing that information. Yes, it's very wise to save now while you can because even a small savings can be built up with time
I can understand the concept and am grateful that such a law exist for those who are actually living in poverty. It's the patients that feel the government owes them the care, who if you went to their house have newest and brightest items, brand new car, cable TV, iPhones, etc. That is what is wrong with this picture.
Supposing you are strolling down a street somewhere in America, minding your own business, and a car veers out of control and runs you over, splat, and you happen not to have any ID on you and you're clean unconscious and pretty mangled. So presumably the ambulance forms up, you are scraped off the pavement, taken to hospital and put back together.
Then the bill is presented, and the car driver's insurer pays; or your travel insurer pays; or you pay if you have the funds - but what if you haven't, and you're not insured, and the car driver can't be traced?
Or, what if it's an orphan child this happens to?
Do hospitals insure themselves against defaulting patients?
Healthcare for profit.
No other developed nation has such an immoral healthcare model. It is shameful that we do.
Correct the underlying immorality and many of the other questions go away.
What I've heard through older acquaintances in the know is that the well-to-do types in town start planning about 10 years before they anticipate needing this care. They funnel money around, get themselves onto waitlists at the best assisted living/nursing home facility 10-15 years before they will need it. They must be the ones paying $3000 for Medicaid planning.
I don't worry about who will inherit after I'm gone, I mean - if I can't take it with me, who cares. I only pray to have enough to support myself as long as I live. If the state steps in and takes over my care, I feel they will be entitled to whatever I have - it's not as if anyone else would already be caring for me. If I need the state to take care of my DH, then again, they can have whatever is left after I pass - but I can legally reserve the right to keep my home as long as I live and my IRA is mine alone and no one can legally take it from me. Shared assets? So they get half - they would be earning it as far as I can see. I have been advised that the state will only take enough to reimburse their expenditures; anything left afterwards is returned to the family.
Depending how much is coming into each State, the State can either cut programs or enhance programs. I need to keep a watch with the current administration to see what happens to Medicaid as the current passed bill in the U.S. House of Representatives is going to cut Medicaid about $880M. Hopefully the U.S. Senate will cross that off the bill.
Now, I can understand why some families want to hide assets so that Medicaid won't get their hands on it. But it is not fair to us taxpayers who are taking up the slack, and whose parents came from the generation to save for those "rainy days".
What is scary is that the baby boomer's grown children are not doing the same type of savings.... then what? We keep telling them to save, save, save, but it is ignored.... [sigh].
You are allowed to own one home and if you're only on SSI and happen to be a single person, you can't rent the home, but you must live in it. It's been said that if anything happens to you and you were to die, Medicaid would have claim to the home for the proceeds for recovery purposes. The same goes for your able account, (but the money can very easily be used up before anything happens to you).
With an able account, you're allowed to cover certain qualified expenses including transportation. In Ohio, you can buy a car with the funds, this qualifies under transportation expenses.
In control of the costs? Are you kidding? You mean they *meant* this shambles to happen?
I'm not sure, but I believe that other large European countries like Germany and France operate insurance-based systems. Don't know about Japan - but based on childish stereotyping I guess that their main health strategy involves people being expected to pull themselves together and show moral fibre. Being ninety in that country is considered no excuse for not running marathons or climbing Mount Fuji.
Until we have universal health care, there is no way to control the for profit health care business. Yes...business. There is no reason a doctor in a speciliaty needs to get $1mill a year (I know several that do). There is no reason a business with stock holders should be delivering medical aid to only the wealthy that can pay these outrageous prices!
The vast majority of the worlds developed nations have universal healthcare. AND. .they have control of the costs. AND. Everyone gets the care they need. Yeah..if you want elective surgery you will have to wait in line or pay to go somewhere else to get it. BUT, no one goes without the care they need. Unlike here
We still have millions without access to health care. And..if the GOP get there way..we will have tens of millions more ...probably everyone Mom and Dad..as they all have preexisting conditions that will price them completely out of any insurance at all.
I put their $$$ in my name because I am the one who pays the bills, gets the mail, etc. I didn't know what else TO do with it!!
It was kind of you to fork out $400 per month of your own money to keep your mom comfortable in a private room. There is NO WAY my mother would EVER be 'compatible' with a roommate...........LOL.
I understand there's a difference between ALF and NH, but at least your mom is still able to do just ALF, which affords her some independence.
For me, I never knew that Medicaid would pay for all the care for someone who cannot afford a nursing home until I found this website forum. It was an eye opener, but something I was glad was there in case someone outlives their savings. With todays elders living more and more into their 90's and early 100's, that could happen to any one of us.
I know I was in sticker shock head spinning mode when I found out how expensive it was to have caregivers around the clock for my Dad. When one sees $30/hr it doesn't sound all that bad, until you figure the cost for 24 hours, seven days a week. YIKES !!
Another sticker shock was the cost of Independent Living and Assisted Living. Ok, much less expensive then 24 hour caregivers, but still pricey.
I was in panic city regarding myself.... being an only child and never had children... I will need to pay someone to take care of me in my declining years, if I reach that point. I had socked away a healthy amount of savings, but what if *I* outlive my savings?
So, essentially you inadvertently made your husband co-owner of the business. Well. Can Medicaid force the closure of a business to realise the asset for the applicant? Especially given that that would mean putting your employee out of work.
Could they require you to "buy him out"? And how would they determine the value of his share? After all this is operating capital, it's not spare cash.
Don't just lie down and take it. There must be some way round.