As the elderly population grows and healthcare costs rise, seniors and their caregivers face the challenge of financing long-term care without losing their life savings. Although Medicare covers physician and hospital visits for those over 65, it does not cover long-term care.Medicaid is a government program that provides healthcare coverage for individuals who lack sufficient assets or income to pay for their care. Qualification requirements may differ between states, with some states assessing income and others assessing assets. Even individuals with substantial assets or income may qualify for Medicaid with proper planning.
Some individuals attempt to qualify for Medicaid through fraudulent means, such as concealing income or assets. In 1994, Stephen Gossman applied for Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) on behalf of his grandmother, falsely claiming that she had no money. In reality, she had $220,000 in poker winnings and $115,000 from selling her residence. Medicaid paid $116,000 in nursing home expenses for her care. Gossman took the unreported money and used it to make a down payment on his home, and he hid the rest in a closet, depositing small amounts to avoid bank reporting requirements.
Gossman faced 17 charges of money laundering and healthcare fraud and was sentenced to almost four years in prison, fined $315,000, and ordered to reimburse Medicaid for the nursing home expenses.
Gossman and his grandmother could have achieved their goal legally by using her funds to purchase exempt assets, such as a residence, household goods, a car, a burial plot, and other exempt items.
Medicaid rules and planning techniques vary by state, but fraudulent applications are dealt with severely in any state. The McGee Law Firm specializes in Elder Law and Estate Planning and can assist with asset structuring to achieve Medicaid eligibility in Texas through legal means.
Compliments of the McGee Law Firm, Attorney Brandon McGee
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