For people in Massachusetts who need to place a loved one in a nursing home for long-term care, money and retaining property is often a primary concern. While they want the best possible situation, they must still think about the financial ramifications.
MassHealth covers nursing home care based on income, assets and other properties as an applicant waits for long-term care services. In some instances, the person needs to transfer a home, their assets and income so they are eligible. Knowing how MassHealth assesses the transfer is essential to make sure it is done properly and people are protected. Missteps can cause complications.
MassHealth will scrutinize how property was transferred
For a person or a spouse who is transferring or giving away assets or income, MassHealth will need to know its value to determine if it was surrendered for less than it was worth. This could impact whether the nursing home services will be paid for over a specific time period.
Any transfer that was made—even those involving trusts—will be looked at going back 60 months before the application to MassHealth was made or prior to the date a person already went into a medical facility, whichever came last.
This is applicable for those who are still residing at home and are seeking MassHealth through a Home-and-Community-Based Services Waiver; those who are already living in a facility; and assets, income or a home in which the person and their spouse hold a legal interest and was transferred to another person.
People who have been approved for MassHealth and transferred property for less than what it was worth could see the transfer set aside and the person will still be categorized as owning the property. This could obviously cause a problem with using MassHealth benefits for their nursing home care.
Experienced help can be critical when seeking MassHealth for nursing home care
There is nothing illegal or unethical about transferring assets to be eligible for MassHealth to get nursing home care for a loved one. Still, it is easy to make mistakes when trying to complete the process.
Knowing the rules for transferring property and assets is fundamental. This could be confusing and mistakes are common. To ensure that it is done correctly and to avoid any other issues that come up with MassHealth and elder law, contacting qualified professionals who are experienced in these cases can be beneficial.