Can I trigger ineligibility for Medicaid coverage for skilled nursing care once I’ve already been approved for Medicaid coverage? The answer to that question is an emphatic absolutely. Let me give you an example. I had a client of mine today asked me a question regarding the sale of a vehicle. The situation, this gentleman was already approved for Medicaid, was already in the skilled nursing facility and Medicaid had already been paying for skilled nursing care for several months. He was in a position where he had a vehicle. That vehicle he was obviously getting no use out of because he was in skilled nursing care and could not drive, so his daughter wanted to know if it would be a possibility that he could either sell the vehicle or give the vehicle to her.
That sort of situation you absolutely would not want to do anything with the vehicle. Not sell the vehicle or give it away. The reason being is that Medicaid eligibility is reviewed on an ongoing basis. This specific situation, if he gave the vehicle to his daughter he would be looking at a period of ineligibility based upon the value of the vehicle because it would be considered a gift, a transfer of assets for less than value. What if you sold the vehicle? That wouldn’t be considered a gift. Well know it wouldn’t but in that sort of situation, the money that he would receive as a result of the sale of the vehicle in this situation $20,000 would also trigger ineligibility for Medicaid coverage due to the fact that he would now be over the above threshold which is $2,000 which would then make him ineligible for Medicaid coverage.
In this specific situation, what you would do is you keep the vehicle. You can store it, hopefully at a relative or a family member’s house, free of charge and then the vehicle will still have it’s exempt characteristic and will not be counted against you for Medicaid coverage purposes, but you also are sure that your vehicle is secure. These are just some things that you want to think about once you’ve already received approval for Medicaid coverage because the Department of Children and Families is allowed to continually review financials at least for one year from the period of eligibility all the way through the review period after that initial year. Keep this in mind.
If you have any other questions regarding Medicaid approval, Medicaid planning or the actual Medicaid application, please give us a call here at Waller & Mitchell at 727-847-2288.