Elder Law Services
A common concern among seniors is how to keep retirement savings from being spent on nursing home or long-term care costs. In addition, seniors want to keep their home or other real estate in the family and are concerned about the possibility of “losing their home to the government.” This fear is legitimate and is due to the prospect of having to qualify for Medicaid, which has stringent requirements for the amount of assets that one can have before a person is eligible to receive Medicaid benefits.
Medicaid is the nation's major public health insurance program for low-income Americans providing health care and long-term care services to more than 52 million people. In Ohio, Medicaid provides health care services to over two million residents and pays for the majority of long-term care provided in the state.
How do I qualify for Medicaid long-term care services in Ohio?
To qualify for Ohio Medicaid, you must meet certain eligibility criteria - such as U.S. citizenship, age and Ohio residency. You must also meet income and asset limits. If you are aged, blind or have a disability, you must not have assets that exceed $1,500 (individual). These asset limits will be different for individuals who own long-term care partnership policies.
The calculations that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services uses to determine Medicaid eligibility are very stringent. An improper transfer of money or property to protect your assets can immediately disqualify you from receiving Medicaid benefits. It is for that reason why we encourage our clients to seek legal counsel before making any transfers for asset protection purposes.
Although Medicare may pay for short periods of care (Medicare pays about 10% of the nation's total nursing home bills) you should not depend on Medicare to pay your long-term care bills.
(Source: Ohio Department of Insurance, Ohio Shopper's Guide Series: Long-Term Care Insurance)
For more information, call 1-800-324-8680 / TTY 1-800-292-3572 or contact your local county department of job and family services. You can also visit www.jfs.ohio.gov/ohp