Asset Protection Planning
Whether individuals begin planning for long-term care in advance or whether it is a crisis situation, most individuals have an interest in protecting some of their assets for their spouse or children. Many times, it is possible to implement a plan to protect assets so they do not have to be exhausted on in-home, assisted living, or nursing home care.
When we meet with individuals or their families, we review their specific goals. We discuss planning options that are available to them. The options are based on a variety of factors, including the individual’s health and financial situation, Medicaid and other government benefit regulations, and powers of attorney or guardianship documents to see what authority exists to act on behalf of the individual.
Our goal is to make sure that the client and his or her representatives understand the practical effects of the plan we recommend. There are many considerations when implementing a plan, and our goal is to help the client achieve his or her desires to the fullest extent possible.
In some situations, an individual or his or her representative can apply for and obtain Medicaid eligibility without the assistance of an attorney. In fact, until the federal and state laws changed in February 2006, most people could file their own Medicaid application. However, because of these and continuing changes in the law, an attorney’s services are often necessary to ensure that the application is processed correctly.
We recommend that clients allow our office to file the Medicaid application and be their liaison with the county Job and Family Services agency. This prevents denials and unnecessary delays that could affect an applicant’s eligibility. We strive to maintain positive working relationships with the county caseworkers, and we find these relationships help the application process run smoothly.
Some Medicaid applications are denied and some Medicaid benefits are terminated. In most cases, the denial or termination of benefits is correct. When an incorrect denial or termination is issued, the determination can be challenged through an administrative appeal process. If the available administrative remedies are insufficient, the case can be appealed to a state court, if necessary.
If your Medicaid application has been denied or if your benefits have been terminated, we can review your case to determine if your denial or termination may be an error. There are strict time limits associated with the appeal process, so it is important that you contact us as soon as you have information regarding your case. If we believe there is a plausible argument to appeal, we can represent you through the appeal process.
Medicaid Estate Recovery
When a person who received Medicaid benefits dies, Ohio is authorized to collect the cost of those medical benefits from the person’s estate. We work with clients to protect their assets from recovery before their death. We also provide services to the individual’s representative if a claim has been filed after the individual’s death. We have experience negotiating with the State of Ohio. If you have notice of a recovery claim or questions about the State’s right of recover, we can review the situation and guide you accordingly.