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November Newsletter 2018

How Do You Qualify for Medicaid?
By Lynn St. Louis, Managing Partner at Elder Law Group PLLC

Long-Term Care Plan


The top 5 things you need to know about Qualifying for Medicaid

Chances are if you are over the age of 65, you will need some form of Long-Term Care during your life. Skilled care is EXPENSIVE, and many people run the risk of losing all their savings to pay for it. Government benefits exist that can help cover the costs, but there are many strict rules you have to follow in order to qualify. Here are five things you need to know so that you can pay for Long-Term Care without going broke.
  1.  Medicaid and Medicare are different.

    Mixing up Medicaid and Medicare is a very common mistake. Medicare is a health insurance policy offered to senior citizens and is not income-based. Medicaid is a public assistance program based largely on financial need. You don’t have to be a senior to qualify for Medicaid. Any person with a disability could  get government benefits if they need help paying for long-term care costs and meet the requirements. While Medicare can help cover your medications or a short hospital stay, ONLY Medicaid covers the costs of Long-Term Care.

  2. How much money can you have?

    Rules for Medicaid vary by state. Washington State looks at both your monthly income and your assets (savings, property, 401k, stocks, etc). Your monthly income needs to be less than the cost of your care and your assets must be below a certain point in order to qualify. The government does have a policy of not impoverishing spouses. That means a married couple can have roughly between $57,000 and $125,000 in savings and still get Medicaid benefits. On the other hand, a single person is allowed to have only $2,000 in savings to qualify. Poor planning in the face of Long-Term Care needs could mean depleting your savings in order to get assistance.

  3.  Giving away money could cost you!

    Some people believe you can give your money or property away so that you can qualify for Medicaid benefits. In most cases this is a bad idea. The State has a “5 year look-back”, which means they can examine any gifts you made in the five years leading up to when you applied for Medicaid. By giving away large amounts of money, you are subject to penalization from the State. Every $9,829 you “gifted” equals one month for which you will not receive care. For example, if you gave away  $200,000 you would have to wait almost two years before you would be eligible to get Medicaid benefits!

  4.  Planning ahead will save you money.

    This information might make your head spin, but there is a silver lining. You CAN protect your assets and still get government assistance. Medicaid Asset Preservation Strategies® include certain kinds of trusts and a special type of annuity to help protect your money from creditors, the state, and liens without making you go broke. With proper advanced planning, you can protect up to 100% of your assets. Yes, the rules are complicated, but not impossible!

  5.  Talking with an Elder Law Attorney is the BEST way to qualify AND protect your assets.

    Medicaid planning is a complex area of law. Be sure that you consult with an Elder Law Attorney who is experienced in Medicaid Asset Preservation Strategies®. They will ensure that you are following the  right steps in order to protect your money and still qualify for government benefits.

For more information about Medicaid Asset Preservation Strategies® or guidance on your Estate Plan CALL ELDER LAW GROUP TODAY!

Meet our Lawyer!
Jonas Hemenway

Jonas joined Elder Law Group in the summer of 2016 as an Associate Attorney. Prior to moving to Spokane, Jonas spent 9 years in Oregon where he attended the University of Oregon School of Law and practiced as an Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney. Since then, Jonas has work experience in Wills, Trusts, taxable Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Powers of Attorney, Medicaid, and asset preservation. Meanwhile, Jonas spends his free time with his wife and 6 young children. He enjoys music, reading, cooking, and the outdoors.

Have questions? Ask us directly! CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

Spokane Events
Estate Planning Workshops

Senior Rights:Your Legal Voice 
Lynn St. Louis, Esq 
Planning ahead allows you to document your wishes and make the best decisions for your future. If you’ve been putting off planning for your senior years, now is the time to take steps to ensure your voice will be heard.Join Elder Law Group for a special Three-Part Workshop Series based upon The Handbook for Washington Seniors published by www.legalvoice.org!

Each week Lynn St. Louis, Managing Partner of Elder Law Group PLLC will cover different Long-Term Care planning issues that impact seniors. We will discuss the tools you need to protect your future.
North Spokane Library
44 E Hawthorne Ave,
Spokane, WA 99218
Join us for this special free to the public educational workshop series. Seating is limited – Call (509) 468-0551 or go to our website to RSVP.
Tuesday, November 06, 2018, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Estate Planning Essentials
    • Wills, Trusts, and Asset Protection
    • Durable Powers of Attorney – Financial & Health Care
    • Health Care Advance Directives
Tuesday, November 13, 2018, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Long-Term Care Planning
    • Qualifying for Medicaid
    • Ways to pay for Long-Term Care
Tuesday, November 20, 2018, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Long-Term Care Planning – Putting It All Together
    • Checklists for Life Planning
    • Legal Resources for Seniors
    • Question & Answer Session


Tri-Cities Events 
Estate Planning Workshops

Qualifying for Medicaid
Elder Law Group Attorney Liz Wallace will answer questions on how you can protect your money from the costs associated with Long-Term Care and the importance of Planning Ahead. 
  • Long-Term Care Planning Issues that Impact Seniors
  • How to Qualify for Medicaid
  • Protecting Assets from the Cost of Long-Term Care
Free and open to the public. Seating is limited – Call (509) 468-0551 or go to our website to RSVP.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 5:00 p.m – 6:30 p.m.

West Richland Library
3803 Van Giesen St,
West Richland, WA 99353

Estate Planning for Seniors
Elder Law Group Attorney Liz Wallace will answer questions on the estate planning documents everyone should have, paying for Long-Term Care, and legal resources for seniors.
  • Asset Protection Estate Planning
  • Wills with Asset Protection Supplemental Needs Trust
  • Protecting Assets from the Cost of Long-Term Care
The same workshop will repeat at both locations. Free and open to the public. Seating is limited – Call (509) 468-0551 or go to our website to RSVP.

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Pasco Library
1320 W Hopkins St,
Pasco, WA 99301

Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Richland Library
955 Northgate Dr,
Richland, WA 99352


More Senior Events in Washington

In addition to attending one of our events, you may want to check out one of these wonderful opportunities below!



Annual Veterans Lunch
Corbin Senior Activity Center, 827 W Cleveland Ave, Spokane, WA 99205
Friday, November 9th, 2018
12:00 PM
Free for Veterans and their spouses; $15 Non-Veterans

Click here to read more!

NW Senior Expo
Spokane County Fairground & Expo Center
Tuesday, November 13th, 2018
9:00 am – 3:00 pm – $5 per person

Click here to read more!



40th Annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival
Three Rivers Convention Center
Kennewick, Washington
Saturday November 10, 2018
7:00 to 10:00 PM

Click here to read more!

Senior’s Association Holiday Bazaar
Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Drive
Richland, Washington

November 10, 2018, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Click here to read more!

We are here to help!

Have a question or need to find a resource?
Check out our 
resource page for assistance.

Still not sure what to do?
Give us a call and let us guide you (509) 468-0551.

Empowering Seniors’ Futures ®
At Elder Law Group we Empower Seniors’ Futures through Asset Protection Estate Planning™. We make sure our clients’ voices are heard and their assets protected.Whether you are at the beginning of retirement and planning for the future or need assistance with Long-Term Care now, Elder Law Group provides resources and a plan to give you the best quality of life possible.

With the complexities of the social and financial world we live in today, a traditional Estate Plan cannot protect you against Long-Term Care costs. Let Elder Law Group help give you the peace of mind you deserve through an Asset Protection Estate Plan.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to the viewer or user. Use of this newsletter and its contents does not create or establish an attorney-client relationship or privilege of any nature between the user and owner.

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