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Married Couples in Michigan Receiving Medicaid Need To Plan

Are you a senior residing in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, Ottawa or Kent County and receive Medicaid benefits for your spouse residing in a nursing home?

If so, you need our help. Proposed changes to Medicaid regulations will expose people to the danger of losing benefits or incurring divestment penalties. Michigan Medicaid regulations provide that married couples eligible to receive long term care Medicaid benefits have one year form the date of initial eligibility to transfer all assets, other than the applicant's primary account, to the well spouse or "community" spouse's name.

Although this was always the law, the Department of Human Services (DHS) never truly enforced this policy. Proposed changes will require the community spouse to provide proof that assets disclosed on the initial application for benefits that were jointly owned were transferred to his or her sole name. If assets were not fully transferred, then the qualified spouse will become disqualified to receive benefits and will have to re-qualify for Medicaid benefits.

Further, it will also allow the DHS to investigate if assets that were held jointly or solely were "divested" or given away during the first year of eligibility. Assets cannot be divested following Medicaid eligibility. However, assets transferred to the community spouse and transferred after the initial re-determination appear to be exempt form this rule.

These changes are schedule to hit in October of 2012. The best way to avoid Medicaid post eligibility problems is to plan properly with an elder law attorney.

Sound complicated? If so, please call. We can help.

Call first... Act second.

The attorneys at Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz and Associates, P.C. are ready to help. Serving southeast Michigan and metro-Detroit in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County, through its Sterling Heights office; and, west Michigan in Kent and Ottawa County through its Zeeland office.

Free consultation, by appointment only, (586) 264-3756, (616) 931-3670, or, 1 (866) 529-ELDR.

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