I was told that I cannot protect any of my assets from the nusing home!

To qualify for Medicaid, if you are single you can retain $2,500 in assets. For couples, the spouse can keep the home, one car, and about $109,000 in assets.

The best protection from long-term care costs is long-term care insurance. LTCI does not just pay for the nursing home, but for home-care services, and may help pay some or all of an assisted living facility.

If you cannot get long-term care insurance due to a medical decision, age or finances, the next best protection is an Irrevocable Medicaid Trust. However, this trust must be funded for at least five years before the assets in the trust are fully protected.

For married couples, you can protect your hard earned savings, by asset protection strategies, such as an annuity.

For singles, the half a loaf (gift and return) can save approximately 50% of your assets. Half of your assets are loaned to the child. The remaining half is gifted to the child. The gift causes a penalty period during which you are not eligible for Medicaid. The child pays back the loaned amount to the parent. The parent pays the nursing home, with the returned assets, until the penalty period expires. Consequently, the parent qualifies for Medicaid. The child keeps the gifted amount of approximately 50%..

Because of Medicaid's increased look back period from three to a five-year look-back period, it is crucial to plan ahead. However, even with no planning, we can save all or some of you assets.

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