Good News! New Jersey Medicaid has improved for families! It is great to report favorable news and tidings for a change. Previously, we mentioned that New Jersey (through Miller Trusts) allows applicants to receive Medicaid where, in the past, they may not have been able to qualify. In the past, if income was above a thresh hold, the applicant was out of luck for anything other than Skilled Nursing Facility (nursing home) Medicaid.
Now, an additional bit of good news. Effective April 1, 2015 New Jersey has increased it’s penalty divestment divisor (penalty divisor) to a daily rate of $332.59. What that means in English, is that for each $332.59 gifted, there is a loss of Medicaid of one day. This is an improvement over the prior daily divisor of $313.50. What this means, said another way, is that the State of New Jersey is saying the “average” cost of a skilled nursing facility is about $9,977.70 per month, based on a 30 day month, instead of $9,405. Larger is better. This will be advantageous to families.
Using these formulas and techniques, we often save families SIGNIFICANT assets when applying for Medicaid, including when there have been gifts within 5 years, or in conjunction with a plan that may include last minute gifting.
Many people don’t realize that you CAN plan for Medicaid if you don’t have the full 5 years to wait. When we have five years, we call that “planning ahead” – when we don’t, or when there’s urgency, we often consider that “crisis planning.” We urge you to contact us, or a qualified elder law attorney right away to help your loved one.
One of our favorite quotes, which is a well known Chinese proverb, is “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Similarly, the best time to plan for Medicaid was 5 plus years ago. The second best time is now.