Dave Ramsey is a respected financial that provides  quality advice, which is surprising as he is a Tennessee football fan(Go Dawgs).  He has helped thousands of people get out of debt and start saving for their retirement  Ramsey’s rules are good advice for the average person, but should not be followed by someone needing immediate nursing home Medicaid.

Nursing home Medicaid is a program funded by the federal government and administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health to provide funding for nursing home stays for those who have a need for such care.  Along with showing a medical need for nursing home level of care, an applicant for nursing home Medicaid must have income and assets under specific levels.  These income and asset rules are very complex with certain assets being treated as exempt, and rules on the conversion of assets into income.  The rules are difficult to understand, and will often lead necessitate advanced Medicaid planning by an experienced elder lawyer.

The purpose of Medicaid planning is to enable an applicant to receive Medicaid benefits as early as possible, while preserving assets.  In doing such Medicaid planning, it is not uncommon for the plan to call for a complex transfer of assets.  These transfers of assets seem to lack any purpose, and many would have no purpose unless it was to qualify an individual for Medicaid.  These strange shifts in finances go against many of the normal rules of financial planning.  One of the methods of qualifying for Medicaid when someone has too many assets is to purchase an annuity.  The annuity purchased converts what would have been counted as an asset for Medicaid into income, which is counted differently for Medicaid.

Often, clients who seek advice in Medicaid Planning are wary of purchasing annuities as they have heard that these products are bad investments.  While it is true that the investment return on annuities is very low, the resulting Medicaid coverage can be worth thousands of dollars per month.

When there is an immediate need for nursing home Medicaid, do not follow conventional investment, but rather follow the advice of an experienced elder law attorney.