Why Does Alabama Medicaid Punish You For Making Gifts — It’s None Of Medicaid’s Business!
“Why Does Alabama Medicaid Punish You For Making Gifts — It’s None Of Medicaid’s Business!”
When someone applies for Alabama Medicaid and qualifies, Medicaid looks back 5 years (60 months) to see if the person needing Medicaid (or their spouse) made any gifts.
If gifts were made, then there can be a penalty starting when the person otherwise qualifies for Medicaid.
When we explain this to families who are faced with looking towards Medicaid to pay for long term care, one question often asked is “Why does Medicaid get to know about this as this is none of Medicaid’s business!”
We understand this feeling but here is why Medicaid gets to know about this and why it is actually Medicaid’s business about gifts that were made.
Alabama Medicaid is designed to pay for nursing home care when the family (the disabled person and his wife) cannot pay for it.
When we say Alabama Medicaid we really mean tax payers.
So it makes sense that Medicaid (tax payers) would want to know if the family had given away assets in order to qualify.
We don’t want to be paying for Bill Gates’ nursing home bill if he gave away his $50 billion or however much he has. At least not in the last five years.
Alabama Medicaid should only start paying when someone has followed the rules and needs it.
Not when a family is trying to preserve family assets by making Medicaid pay for care.
Do keep in mind that this program has rules.
There are legal, legitimate ways to save a lot of assets and still qualify for Medicaid.
For example, all gifts more than 5 years ago are ok.
Married couples get to keep a good amount of money.
The house is normally protected.
So there are legal ways to accomplish what families want but we see so many families just giving away assets without having a roadmap of what is allowed and what is not allowed and then when a problem arises the family says “This is none of Medicaid’s business!”
But now getting back to the details of how Medicaid interprets the law.
The law says a gift made for the purpose to qualify for Medicaid.
We have problems with the implementation of this law.
Some offices have taken this too far and say a grandmother who always gives a graduation gift to her grand children was “gifting away her assets” when she was in great health and right before a completely unexpected stroke.
Same thing with gifts to church.
Medicaid can push this too far in an attempt to cut costs and benefits.
Here’s the bottom line:
Before you make any gift, transfer any property, or even think about applying for Alabama Medicaid, please contact us to get valuable information about your rights and obligations so that you can make the best decision for your family.
Sometimes it is best to go ahead and transfer property or make gifts but other times it is not.
We will be glad to help you navigate from where you are to where you want to go.
After we meet and learn about your current situation and where you want to go.
Then, we will put in your hands an Alabama Medicaid Roadmap to guide you.
You can give us a call at 1-205-879-2447.
Or, if you prefer, you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you soon.
Either way, we look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!