In the United States, 60 percent of nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to finance their nursing home care. The issues surrounding eligibility for Medicaid assistance are complicated and mistakes can be costly.

Medicaid is a federal and state program that pays the health care costs of people who lack the funds to pay for it themselves. It can be used to cover the costs of both home care and nursing home care. Medicaid laws are very complicated. It is important for you to understand that information provided by family, friends, social workers, nursing home intake staff, and even Medicaid workers and lawyers is often out of date or just plain wrong. These folks may very well have the best of intentions, but the laws governing Medicaid eligibility are complicated and ever-changing. Few people fully understand them and undertake the work to stay on top of these laws. Our elder law lawyers do.

If you or someone you love is faced with needing to eventually qualify for Medicaid, there are a myriad of things that can be done to preserve and protect assets for the family. We can put a number of powerful legal tools to work on your behalf. We want to make sure couples do not go through a spousal hardship, that money is spent without the fear of being disqualified for Medicaid, and loved ones are taken care of. We will help you qualify for assistance from Medicaid and other resources, so that you can preserve your life savings and avoid a Medicaid crisis situation.

When should you start planning for Medicaid? Now. It’s great to start this process early. South Dakota has a five year “look-back period” so you can’t give your property to friends and family on Sunday so that you can qualify for Medicaid on Monday. We have a lot of planning options the earlier you start. But if you haven’t done the planning early, we can still help. It’s almost never too late to take planning steps, even after a senior has moved to a nursing home. However, the sooner we can start, the better.

Get good solid advice. Learn the facts and make sure you are working with an elder law attorney who does this all day, every day. Contact us today to discuss your options.