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The Government Doesn’t Tell You About the Exceptions

The American Jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said, “The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”   And I am now that “old” man, who has helped many families qualify their loved one for Medicaid over the past 30 years.

The government knows the rules and the exceptions but it is not about to go on a campaign educating seniors and their families as to the exceptions. These “exceptions” can help protect valuable assets for those who require long term care and need Medicaid to step in and help them.

Under the current Medicaid look back rules, gifts made by a nursing home resident within the five-year period preceding a Medicaid application will result in a Medicaid denial unless the gifts meet an exception in the Medicaid rules.  There are special rules for spouses, children who are disabled and for houses.  There are even more exceptions for gifts that were not made for purposes of qualifying for Medicaid.

Regardless of what rules you’ve heard, it is always a good idea to speak with a qualified, experienced elder law attorney to find out what the government is not telling you – the exceptions.

For more details on Medicaid eligibility, please visit

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