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The decision to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility in southern Illinois is a tough one to make – but it can be even more difficult if you and your family are not sure how to pay for quality care. Located in Carbondale, Illinois, Habiger & Associates Elder Law Office (HAELO) can assist your family with Medicaid planning and help you make the transition to a nursing home, supportive living or assisted living facility safely and smoothly.

Estate Protection, Disability,
VA & Medicaid Assistance Lawyers

The most respected elder law firm in southern Illinois can help you to afford a high quality nursing home for a loved one.

As we age, transitioning to a nursing home or assisted living center may be the best choice for our health, safety, comfort, and overall quality of life. However, finding the right nursing home in southern Illinois and then finding the funds to pay for that nursing home can prove to be complicated, confusing, and stressful.

In southern Illinois, quality nursing home care costs an average of $3,000 to $6,000 per month - which translates to a staggering $36,000 to $60,000 per year. Considering that the average household income for a family living in Carbondale, IL, is $34,601, it is clear that most people simply can't afford to pay for long-term quality elder care straight out of pocket for very long. Many families are faced with sobering options: selling family property, depleting savings, using inheritance money, or settling for sub-par care.

At Habiger & Associates, we specialize in creating unique, individualized long-term care plans for seniors living in Southern Illinois. We have decades of experience helping thousands of families find nursing home payment solutions that give peace of mind to all who are involved in the process. For most middle-class families, these solutions involve Medicaid.

What is Medicaid planning, and how can it help your family with elder care? 
Part of the Social Security Act, Title 19 Medicaid is a medical and health-related service run jointly on a federal and state level. Very simply, Medicaid helps those with limited resources pay for some or all of their medical requirements. If you or your loved one qualifies for Medicaid, you are legally entitled to benefits that could help you afford the elder care you or they need.

Why do I need a Medicaid planning attorney? 
As with many government programs, it can be difficult to receive Medicaid benefits even if you qualify for them.  Knowing the rules, requirements and unwritten policies of qualifying for Medicaid benefits - such as the difference between your exempt and non-exempt assets - is often difficult, and a mistake may lead to a rejection or a "spend-down" requirement.  More importantly, an experienced Medicaid planning attorney can help you with a number of strategies that can protect the financial security of your family while also preserving your eligibility for Medicaid benefits.

A Medicaid planning service also can do much more than simply secure Medicaid funds. At Habiger & Associates, our elder law attorneys can assist you and your family with the entire spectrum of your elder care planning, from finding the proper care, to exploring benefit options, to paying for care, to checking up on the wellbeing of you or your loved one in the months and years after your or their placement in a care facility.

In the majority of cases we handle, our clients have never been through the process of planning for their senior years and don't have the necessary expertise, knowledge, or inside information to make the best choices or save the most money.  Let us help you make the right choices and get the best results.

Learn more about Medicaid with our FREE Medicaid Planning Guide
The first step toward learning more about Medicaid benefits and how they might help your elder care planning is to fill out the form to the right of this page to receive your FREE, no-obligation report: The Guide To Medicaid Planning - How To Save Your Home, Protect Your Assets, & Finance Your Care Without Going Broke. This 20-page book is written in clear, easy-to-understand language and is specific to Illinois Medicaid laws and requirements.  By filling out the form you also will gain instant free access to our members-only area and receive our newsletter.

The Guide To Medicaid Planning
will answer many of your questions about finding funds for long-term elder care, such as:

  • Do I qualify for Medicaid benefits?
  • What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?
  • How do I apply for Medicaid benefits in Illinois?
  • My children's names are on my bank account - will that affect my benefits?
  • Can I give my assets away to qualify for Medicaid?
  • Are Medicaid eligibility requirements different for married couples?
  • What happens to my Social Security check during this process?
  • Can I afford to enter a nursing home without selling my house or farm?
  • What is custodial nursing, and how might it affect my Medicaid benefits?
  • What is the difference between exempt and non-exempt assets?
  • Are prepaid funeral expenses considered exempt? What about my house and car?
  • Are my 401K and IRA considered exempt?
  • What if my spouse needs nursing home care, but I do not?

As a special bonus for requesting The Guide To Medicaid Planning today, you'll also have immediate FREE access, and be able to download, our e-book The Southern Illinois Elder Care Guide which features a number of essential items: 

  • County-by-county listing of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, supportive living facilities, and hospice services in the 27 southern-most counties in southern Illinois.
  • Printable rating forms to help you evaluate prospective elder care facilities.
  • An easy-to-follow list of the questions you should be asking as you search for elder care options.
  • How to Get Good Care in a Nursing Home - a "nuts and bolts" guide to ensuring that your loved one get the best elder care possible.

Request Your FREE Guides Now!

Contact us today to learn more about Medicaid planning
Although The Guide To Medicaid Planning and The Southern Illinois Elder Care Guide can answer many of the most basic questions you might have about Medicaid benefits and nursing home planning, it is important to understand that each case and each family deserves a unique, tailored long-term care plan that matches their individual requirements. Whether you are a senior researching your own options, a son or daughter helping your parents, or an aging parent looking for care solutions for your disabled adult child, we can help.

During a free and confidential telephone consultation, Habiger & Associates will listen to your story, get your questions answered, and begin the process of designing the best solutions and options for your family regarding long-term care . . . including Medicaid.  To request your free telephone consultation, please fill out the short electronic contact form to the right of this page or call us at (618) 549-4529 in Carbondale or toll-free at (800) 336-4529. Let us help you find the funds you need for quality care.

Blog for Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection

Library for Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection:

  • New Medicaid Rules may "Lawfully Mug" You   
    The government is getting ready to "lawfully mug" you or someone you know, perhaps a parent or grandparent, and take nearly everything you or they may own, including life-time savings, and the home or farm.
  • New Illinois Medicaid Rules Threaten Life Estates   
    New Illinois Medicaid rules, implementing the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), threaten transfers of homes where a Life Estate has been retained. Also, the rules will be applied retroactively against transfers of homes and other assets made since February 8, 2006. The use of a care contract or other strategy may salvage ill-advised prior transfers.
  • New Law Threatens Seniors   
    New Illinois Medicaid rules will implement a 5 year "look-back" period and a new devastating way of calculating "penalty periods" for gifts and other transfers of homes, bank accounts, and other assets for less than fair market value. Act NOW before the effective date of the new rules to be "grand-fathered" under the old rules.
  • Words to the Wise - Protect Yourself . . . Now!   
    Illinois is about to adopt the draconian federal law called the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA). If you own a home or farm, or have savings or investments, and, within the next 5 years you may need care or assistance to continue living in your home, or may need to transition to assisted or supportive living, or may need care in a nursing home you need to take immediate action to protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones.
  • Medicaid Planning, Life Estates and Tax Basis Rules   
    Estate tax changes for 2010 are creating problems for Medicaid planning to help pay for nursing home costs and VA benefits planning to help pay for at-home, assisted living, and other long-term care costs.
  • Call for free consultation before signing a nursing home admission agreement.   
    Guardians, power of attorney agents, and others may be liable for a nursing home resident's debt to the nursing home if they fail to act promptly or sign papers making themselves personally liable.
  • Nursing Home Resident’s Representative May be Liable   
    Questions exist as to whether the representative breached the nursing home’s Admissions Agreement by failing to use the resident's assets to pay for her care and promptly qualifying her for Medicaid.
  • Get Medicaid Out of Long-Term Care   
  • Life Estates & Medicaid Secret # 1 [PDF]   
    What Every Non-Elder-Law Attorney Needs to Know
  • Cost of Long-Term Care Continues to Rise   
    Costs for nursing homes, assisted living facilities and some in-home care services have risen for the fifth consecutive year and might continue to rise unless more long-term care workers can be found, according to a new survey by Genworth Financial.
  • Feds Target Nursing Homes That Need Increased Oversight   
    The federal agency that administers the Medicare & Medicaid programs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), seems to suddenly be on a crusade to identify suspect nursing homes. Based solely on the facts reported in two reports released by CMS, their new-found backbone is long overdue.
  • Help for Unsung Heroes   
    The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 allocated $1.4 billion -- the largest demonstration grant in Medicaid history -- to a program called "Money Follows the Person." This program is designed to transition individuals receiving Medicaid and who are living in institutions, back into the community.
  • Medicare Drug Plan: Important Deadline Looming   
    For most Medicare beneficiaries, the ACEP will be the only opportunity to change drug plans for the year. Many seniors continue to find the complexity of choices and terms a challenge to sort out. One common mistake that occurs during the ACEP is the confusion that surrounds Medicare Advantage Plans which are lumped together with Medicare drug plan choices.
  • What is Required of an Executor?   
    An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased individual's estate. Although the time and effort involved will vary with the size of the estate, even if you are the executor of a small estate you will have important duties that must be performed correctly or you may be liable to the estate or the beneficiaries.
  • Using Annuities for Long Term Care Planning   
    Almost all sellers of annuities will recommend the purchase of “deferred” annuities. However, a “deferred” annuity cannot be used for Medicaid planning or for purposes of preserving you asset from the cost of nursing home care.
  • Efforts to Encourage LTC Insurance Purchases Falling Flat   
    The study found that states are still far from the goal of having half of the over-50 population covered by private long-term care insurance. “Unless states enact substantially more generous subsidies and focus the subsidies on more price-conscious potential buyers of insurance," Nixon writes, "the programs are counter-productive. They draw resources away from state coffers that could be better spent preparing for the approaching long term care crisis.”
  • “Put Granny On The Street” Law   
    One year ago, President Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA). The DRA made changes to the Medicaid law that will have a devastating impact on many middle class families in southern Illinois. Two changes stand out as having the greatest impact on the greatest number of persons:
  • The Top 10 Elder Law Court Rulings in 2006   
    Happily, the results of these cases largely benefitted elder law clients. One non-Medicaid case, outlining an attorney-in-fact's powers to gift, also made the list.
  • Medicaid Recovery of Home Catches Many Families By Surprise   
    States are becoming more aggressive about collecting reimbursement for Medicaid nursing home care, and families of deceased recipients are often stunned to discover that the state has laid claim to the family home.
  • Family Farms Threatened by Medicaid Reforms   
    While many politicians proclaim that family farms are the backbone of our country and culture, thousands of family farms will be put at risk by the new legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in February 2006. This so-called reform law will cause many family farms to struggle to survive.

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Frequent Questions for Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection: