The national debt is one of the largest issues facing this country today. Many have proposed solutions to reducing the deficit and paying this debt, albeit with political resistance from one party or another. One touchy subject in this discussion is Medicaid. Over 70% of us will need long-term care at some point in our lives, and yet the program that helps many of us pay for it is hotly contested. Nobody wants to take away the program from those who need it, and yet we don't have the resources to pay for it as in years past, either.
In 2005, the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) changed Medicaid in such a way that it was more difficult for seniors to claim benefits. That is, planning for Medicaid now has to begin sooner; new rules have stipulated that people who possess the funds to pay for their care cannot transfer those funds to render themselves needy and thus rely on Medicaid funding.
The new rules associated with the DRA are complex and often confusing. Fortunately, Matthew Seidner does an excellent job of explaining those rules and clarifying what attorneys need to know in Lawline's new Elder Law CLE course, "Medicaid Planning for Elder Clients".
Mr. Seidner's CLE presentation delves deep into eligibility for Medicaid under the new rules, and provides insight into what can be done to avoid harsh penalties. Using examples from his own experiences, he puts the material into context so that it's easier to imagine different scenarios that could occur for your clients. The key takeaway from the course: PLAN EARLY! There are too many ways for seniors to get caught in catch-22 situations, but these can be avoided by properly managing assets with a knowledgeable attorney--that's where you step in. Check out this course to improve your understanding of Medicaid planning for your clients, but also for yourself. Chances are you'll be in that 70% group one day, and knowing how to handle and manage your assets in order to maintain eligibility for Medicaid could prove to be a lifesaver.