In Montgomery County, Maryland the average cost of nursing home care is about $11,000 per month. Medical Assistance (Medicaid) is the government health insurance program that helps pay that cost. About two-thirds of all long-term nursing home residents are on Medicaid.
Medical Assistance is means tested. To qualify for benefits Maryland nursing home residents must “spend down” all countable assets above $2,500.
One way a nursing home resident can spend down to qualify for Medicaid long-term nursing home care insurance coverage is to put his or her funds into a supplemental needs trust (also known as a special needs trust or SNT). Maryland law encourages the use of special needs trusts for the benefit of disabled persons. Maryland does not limit the amount of funds one can place in a SNT, and does not impose a transfer penalty for funding a SNT.
A supplemental needs trust does what the term indicates: it supplements public benefits; it pays for services that Medicaid does not, or does not pay for very well. For example, a supplemental needs trust might pay for additional health care services, including:
So funding a special needs trust is a way to spend down to qualify for Medicaid long-term nursing home care insurance coverage. Supplemental needs trusts are an important financial planning tool that can significantly enhance quality of life for disabled persons.
The person who knows about supplemental needs trusts is an elder law and disability law attorney. The Law Office of Henry Nash practices in these areas, including in estate planning and Medicaid law. Our office is conveniently located in Rockville, and we work with individuals and families throughout Montgomery County and elsewhere in Maryland. If you have any questions or concerns about special needs trusts and/or paying for long-term nursing home care, generally, and want to discuss with an experienced elder law and disability law attorney, please feel free to contact us.