How to plan so Medicaid can pay for your loved one’s nursing home.

The title of this blog is almost ironic.

Medicaid, under Virginia law, will pay for the long term care of certain elderly patients who do not have the financial resources to pay for the needed care themselves.

Amazingly, families with resources (homes, stocks, cars, and retirement plans) often assume that if they just re-title assets in the names of their children, they will be entitled to Medicaid and related care.

Planning to be poor, simply to receive the benefits given to the poor, is not only unfair, it is  illegal.

When families call us and ask these questions, I quickly refer them to a Medicaid spend down attorney in their area. There are legal ways for families to prepare for long term care needs, without violating the law. But without the assistance of an expert, families are almost always going to do something wrong or break the law.

I also encourage them to read this great information sheet prepared by Virginia Legal Aid regarding Medicaid and long term care.

And then I remind them that Medicaid doesn’t pay for everyone’s care – just those who qualify. And in order to qualify, you can’t just give everything to friends and family. You have to follow the rules. So speak to a Medicaid spend down attorney today before you wrongly assume Medicaid will pay the costs of long term care.

By: Tony Alter
By: Tony Alter

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at