Medicaid Minute: Uncertain Times Lead to Leniency in Rules

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November 12, 2020

Wisconsin’s Medicaid rules have been temporarily adjusted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  In her video, Elder Law Attorney Jessica Merkel explains a few scenarios where Medicaid recipients will not lose their Medicaid benefits despite that under normal circumstances they would have.

Video Transcript:

My name is Attorney Jessica Merkel and this is Ruder Ware’s Medicaid Minute. This week we’re here to talk about some temporary rules related to Wisconsin Medicaid. A client recently contacted our elder law team concerned about his father who’s in a nursing home and has been receiving Wisconsin Medicaid benefits for the last three years. His father just received an inheritance of $50,000 from his brother, and they were wondering if this might impact his Medicaid benefits negatively. In normal times, the answer is “yes,” his father would lose his Medicaid benefits due to being over the $2,000 asset limit. However, as we all well know, these are not normal times. As a result, certain Wisconsin Medicaid rules have been modified in order to accommodate the coronavirus pandemic. For example, for anyone who is already receiving Wisconsin Medicaid benefits for long-term care, such as benefits for a nursing home, or assisted living, or in-home care, the receipt of “new assets,” so such as our client’s father with the inheritance, or if there was a gift, or a court settlement, this will not cause that individual to lose their Wisconsin Medicaid benefits. At least, not for now. In addition, the gifting of money by someone who is already on Wisconsin Medicaid will not create a current penalty period where they’ll lose their benefits. However, word to the wise, the penalty period could be started at some point in the future. So, if anyone receiving Wisconsin Medicaid receives a lump sum of money and gifts it to someone else, they must understand that they may be ok for now, but a penalty period for doing this may be applied in the future.

These new rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic don’t mean that legal advice isn’t necessary, it’s just that the legal advice, at least for now, has changed a bit. If you or a family member could benefit from Medicaid planning, or have any other questions related to Wisconsin Medicaid, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to help.

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