Is Medicaid Going Away?

Is Medicaid Going Away?

By

Ethan R. Okura & Carroll Dortch

There has been a lot of political changes in the federal government over the past year. With a Republican president in office and a Republican majority in Congress, some people are concerned about losing the expansion of health care benefits that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) provided for. Recently, one of the most frequent questions that we are asked by our clients is: Will Medicaid go away?

The concern here is that with a read more

Hawaii Real Property Tax Exemptions

Did you know that there are some exemptions that you can employ to save on your property taxes in Hawai‘i? One of the most commonly used exemptions is the real property tax exemption for homeowners. If you own a home in Hawai‘i, your property tax exemption is based on a variety of considerations regarding your intent to reside in the home. Some of these include:

1) You occupy your home for a minimum number of calendar days in a year — on O‘ahu, the minimum number of days is 270; County read more

Legislative Update: New Elder Care Laws Passed

Recently, the Hawaii State Legislature passed two bills that affect our elderly population and their health care. One was Senate Bill 534, the Kupuna Caregivers Act; the other was House Bill 1396, Relating to Community Care Foster Family Homes, both of which were signed into law by Governor Ige this session.

Kupuna Caregivers: One of the most difficult things that many people here in Hawaii face is trying to provide in-home care for their aging and elderly family members while still holding down read more

THE BEST NURSING HOME IN HAWAII

Last month we talked about the different types of nursing homes and long-term care facilities available in Hawaii. We covered ARCH, Adult Foster Homes, and Nursing Homes. There are also assisted-living facilities, which we did not discuss, but which are an important component of elderly care. Assisted-living facilities are especially helpful for those who don’t have family members who can help them to stay at home while they need some assistance, but before they read more

THE THREE TYPES OF NURSING HOMES

We have had hundreds of clients over the years who have gone to nursing homes to provide for their care as they aged. Some of them lived full, rich, engaged lives in the nursing home until the very end. Others suffered from severe physical disabilities or dementia that prevented them from actively interacting with the world as meaningfully as they would have liked. Clients often are confused by the different types of long-term care options available to them. Today we’ll read more

DON’T “SPEND DOWN” FOR MEDICAID!

When people come to us for advice on how to qualify for Medicaid to pay for their nursing home cost, we hear this phrase “Spend Down” all the time.  Many people who have researched Medicaid benefits for long term care have heard that they should “Spend Down” their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.  In this article I will explain why this could be the worst advice a client could follow—and yet most financial planners, social workers, Medicaid Consultants, and even lawyers still read more

DOES A LIFE ESTATE STILL WORK FOR MEDICAID? (June 2015)

DOES A LIFE ESTATE STILL WORK FOR MEDICAID?

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Back in March, April, and May of 2010, my father wrote a three-part series for the Hawaii Herald called “Protect Your Home From Medicaid Liens.”  It explained that the best way to protect your home is to keep a life estate and give the remainder (or future ownership) away to an irrevocable trust, drafted by a lawyer who specializes in read more

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GIFTING YOUR ASSETS

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            Most of my clients have heard that you can give away $10,000 per year to any other person without consequences.  That’s not exactly correct.  Some have heard that you should consider giving away your assets to your children or other loved ones 5 years before you might need to go to a nursing home.  Therefore, many of them believe that you should start giving $10,000 per year to each of your children and grandchildren or other loved ones. read more

2015 ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE

Here is a 2015 update on important numbers used in Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning in Hawaii.

How much money and property can a person have at death without paying estate taxes?

At the end of 2012, Congress passed a law making the exemption from estate taxes $5,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) without a built in expiration date. Taking into account inflation, the actual amount exempt from estate tax for 2015 is $5,430,000. The Hawaii Estate Tax law was previously amended to follow the Federal read more