Nursing Homes: New Illinois Medicaid Rules
As of January 1, 2012, the rules for Illinois Medicaid eligibility have changed for long term care nursing home cases, and here in the office, we’re busy updating our materials to reflect the changes. We’ve updated our Long Term Care Planning Client Information Summaries, and the materials our new clients receive in their initial meeting have changed as well. I’m also working to update our internal charts and materials to make sure that we provide our clients with the appropriate guidance who are seeking eligibility under the new rules. At the same time, I’m preparing a handout for professional advisors in the senior services arena that sets forth the most critical changes and what to look out for. Changes include transitioning from a 36 month look back to a 60 month look back, but the most significant change does away with the longstanding rules governing so-called “harmless transfers.” In the past, undocumented transfers to loved ones, family members, or caregivers for caregiving services were often treated as harmless and did not result in a period of ineligibility; however, under the new rules, these types of payments might interfere with Illinois Medicaid eligibility and result in a period of ineligibility. In addition, annuities and promissory notes can result in ineligibility if they are not properly structured. As a result, there is a critical need for information among professionals in the senior service arena. We are conducting an informal lunch and learn for professionals on January 19, 2012 at our Wheaton office to discuss the changes and get the word out to people serving seniors. If you are interested and would like to attend, please contact Gloria Albus, at our main office number, listed above. We expect to hold this event multiple times, but we don’t yet have an additional date scheduled. Stay tuned for updates.