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Orange City Estate Planning Blog

Watch Your Language: Community Spouse

In our last entry we talked about what it means to be the institutionalized spouse. But the mild-mannered spouse who is not in the nursing home has special “powers” and a special title to go with it: community spouse. [Read More]

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Watch Your Language: Institutionalized Spouse

Institutionalized. Sounds kind of scary, right? Fortunately, when we’re talking about Medicaid, saying someone is the institutionalized spouse really only means that they are the nursing home resident, the person who needs Medicaid coverage. [Read More]

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Watch Your Language: Penalty Divisor

If you’ve transferred assets within the lookback period, the state is going to assess an eligibility penalty period based on the value of all the transfers you made within that 60-month window. The penalty period can be calculated by dividing the value of that gift by the penalty divisor. [Read More]

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Watch Your Language: Lookback Period

If you’ve heard anything about Medicaid, you’ve probably heard about the lookback period. In Iowa, the lookback period is the period of time starting with the day you apply for Medicaid and extending back through time for sixty months. We break that definition down after the jump. [Read More]

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Devils, Details, and Deadlines: Calculating the Penalty Period

If you can’t prove you didn’t make a transfer to get on Medicaid, that transfer becomes a disallowed transfer. And that’s bad because a disallowed transfer means a penalty period will be imposed, delaying the time you are allowed to receive Medicaid coverage for the nursing home. The real question becomes: how do you calculate the penalty period? [Read More]

The length of the penalty period depends on the value of the assets transferred.

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Watch Your Language: Penalty Period

A transfer occurs anytime you sell, trade, or give away money or property. Sometimes a transfer is for fair value, such as when you trade in your car or buy groceries. Sometimes, though, you make a transfer without expecting anything in return – like a birthday or Christmas gift. This is called a disallowed transfer, and it means you will not be eligible for Medicaid for a certain period of time called the penalty period. [Read More]

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Watch Your Language: Transfer

Seems obvious, right? In daily life, a transfer happens when property changes hands. You can transfer money between bank accounts or transfer germs between school children. In grilling and smoking, “transfer” means removing food from the grill or smoker. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple in the Medicaid world. [Read More]

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You Need a Medicaid Guidebook – and an Expert Guide, too

Iowa Medicaid – sometimes called Title XIX (Title 19) – is a mashup of federal statutes and regulations, state-specific rule tweaks, and both formal and informal agency policies. The system itself is intricate enough, but then the individual case workers who process Medicaid applications don’t always apply the rules in the same way. It’s virtually impossible to navigate the maze without a guide. [Read More]

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Long-Term Care Planning with Joe Friday and Columbo

One thing you could always count on from Joe Friday was direct questions meant to collect the information he needed to solve his case. Columbo was famous for collecting every detail needed to close his cases. And, like Joe Friday, Columbo followed the facts to their logical conclusion. An elder law expert will follow much the same approach, collecting detail upon detail through one or more interviews with you and your family then using those details to analyze and apply the multitude of tools available. [Read More]

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