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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Medicaid / Important Virginia Medicaid Update

Important Virginia Medicaid Update

Virginia has made some important changes to its 2011 Medicaid rules. If you or your loved one is in the process for applying for Medicaid, it is important to keep up with these changes. One important change for 2011 is that the home equity exclusion has been raised from $500,000 to $506,000. The Department of Social Services has reported that this is the first time the home equity limit has increased since the home equity exclusion was implemented in 2006. From now on, the home equity exclusion will be reevaluated annually, so it is important to check on a yearly basis if you plan on applying for Medicaid in the future.

The second important change for 2011 is that the average monthly private nursing facility cost has increased for both Northern Virginia and all other areas in Virginia. For Northern Virginia, the average cost has risen from $6,654 to $7,734 and for the rest of Virginia it has risen from $4,954 to $5,933. This is important because these numbers are used to calculate Medicaid penalties when gifts or other uncompensated transfers have been made.

Because Medicaid rules are constantly changing, it is important that you work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney when applying for Medicaid. While it’s never too late to apply, people who work on their own take the risk of making costly mistakes that could cause them not to receive Medicaid assistance. Not only will an elder law attorney know the latest Medicaid rules, but they can also advise you regarding issues like whether you should make gifts and how to spend down your assets so that you will qualify for Medicaid.

To view the latest changes to the Medicaid rules, you can visit http://www.dss.virginia.gov/files/division/bp/medical_assistance/manual_transmittals/transmittals/transmittal_95.pdf

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