Virginia Beach Elder Law/Medicaid Planning Lawyer
Compassionate, Strategic Help in Periods of Peace and Times of Crisis
According to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), “Elder Law” refers to the practice of law that seeks to ensure that older adults, people with disabilities, and their families have the legal, health, social, and financial care they need to live their best lives. As long-time NAELA members, our attorneys at The Law Office of Angela N. Manz share this vision and work every day to make it a reality for our clients in Virginia Beach. For us, elder law isn’t just about meeting legal requirements – it’s about ensuring a quality, dignified life for our seniors. Our entire team is focused on helping you or your parents or grandparents live a life with the greatest independence and assistance where needed while securing assets against the escalating costs of nursing home care. Whether you are a new client or among the cherished friends we’ve represented for decades, The Law Office of Angela N. Manz remains your trusted counselor and advisor throughout your life. Contact our experienced Virginia Beach elder law/Medicaid planning lawyers today.
Comprehensive Virginia Beach Elder Law Attorneys
“Elder Law” is an umbrella term that can mean different things to different people. At The Law Office of Angela N. Manz, we take a comprehensive approach to meeting the legal needs of seniors and adults that are most directly related to the effects of aging or living with disabilities. For us, this means addressing important topics such as:
- Health and Long-Term Care Planning
- Public Benefits Eligibility
- Surrogate Decision Making
- Legal Capacity
- Estate Planning
Whether your needs check one of these boxes or all of them, our firm stands ready to provide practical legal advice and quality, professional assistance.
Medicaid Planning Is Not Just a Good Idea. It’s a Must
Given the soaring expenses of nursing home care, Medicaid planning isn’t an option—it’s a necessity. Consider the following:
- Almost 50% of women and 25% of men will require nursing home care during their lifetime.
- In Virginia, nursing home care ranges from $8,000-$12,000 monthly.
- Virginia is one of the states with the highest cost for assisted living facilities.
- Women stay in long term care facilities for an average of 3.7 years, while men may stay for an average of 2.2 years.
- A substantial number of families exhaust their finances within the first year of an extended nursing home stay.
Although Medicare provides many valuable resources to seniors, long-term care is not one of them. For most of us, Medicaid is the safety net we need to be able to afford a nursing home or other long-term care. Yet many people believe that Medicaid is only available to people with low incomes and limited assets. That’s where Medicaid planning comes in. With foresight and legal expertise, you can qualify for Medicaid without becoming impoverished and still leaving a legacy for future generations, and The Law Office of Angela N. Manz can help. We are your trusted partner in Virginia Beach to facilitate your eligibility for assistance. Through thoughtful, strategic legal interventions, we work to prevent the draining of your hard-earned income and safeguard your assets while helping you qualify for Medicaid.
Non-Crisis Medicaid Planning: Preparing for the Future
The best time to plan for long-term care is before you need it. Non-crisis Medicaid planning is tailored for individuals who might be in the pink of health today but are farsighted about tomorrow’s uncertainties.
By designing a robust estate plan, our mission is twofold:
- Asset Preservation: Safeguarding your assets against unforeseen circumstances and the high costs of long term care
- Comprehensive Management: Ensuring that both your personal and financial affairs are seamlessly handled in case of incapacity.
With a well-structured plan, you aren’t just securing your future but gifting yourself and your family peace of mind.
Medicaid Crisis Planning: Affording Long-Term Care When You Need It Now
A Medicaid crisis emerges when an individual is on the brink of being admitted to a nursing home but discovers they are ineligible for Medicaid assistance due to excessive assets.
It’s paramount to note that misconceptions about Medicaid abound. While nursing home staff, social workers, and even Medicaid workers may genuinely want to help, they might not always possess accurate knowledge of Medicaid eligibility laws. This is where we step in, bridging the gap between you and precise, actionable information. Making the wrong moves can actually delay your eligibility and make you worse off than you were before. We’ll help you make the right moves. We’ll help your family protect everything you have worked for.
Virginia Medicaid FAQs
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Medicaid Planning and Long-Term Care in Virginia Beach
If you were planning on Medicare to cover your insurance costs as you get older, there is a significant gap in your planning: long-term care. Simply put, Medicare doesn’t cover custodial care. If you need help with activities of daily living such as is provided in a nursing home, don’t expect Medicare to put any money toward the astronomical costs, which currently run from $5,000 to $9,000 a month in Virginia and aren’t getting any cheaper. Medicaid does offer solutions, but for seniors and their children figuring out how to qualify for Medicaid, this solution often raises questions and seems to create more problems than it solves.
Maybe we can’t anticipate and answer all your questions about Medicaid, but below are answers to some of the most common questions we get as we help families plan for Medicaid and long-term care in Virginia Beach. If you have other questions, or if you are on the verge of needing a nursing home and concerned about the cost, call The Law Office of Angela N. Manz to talk with our dedicated team of experienced Virginia Beach elder law and Medicaid planning attorneys.
What’s the big deal about qualifying for Medicaid?
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including children, pregnant women, parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities. It is the single largest source of health coverage in the United States. Except for certain groups like pregnant women, children, and adults with disabilities, however, Medicaid is only meant for families with low income and limited assets. Since Medicaid helps pay for long-term care in a nursing home and Medicare doesn’t, millions of Americans who have too much money for Medicaid must determine how to qualify without spending away their life savings and selling all their assets until they practically have nothing left for themselves or their family.
Is long-term care insurance a good idea?
Long-term care insurance is one way to afford the costly expenses of a nursing home, but the insurance itself is costly. Your age, health and other factors determine your premium, and it might or might not be feasible in your particular situation. Planning for Medicaid eligibility by using tools such as a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust might make more sense. Working with elder law and estate planning attorneys and financial advisors can help you decide whether long-term care insurance is right for you.
Can I just transfer property into someone else’s name like my spouse or kids to qualify for Medicaid?
While it might seem natural to gift assets to family members, the government is very suspicious of any transfers that come about in the five years before applying for Medicaid. Gifting away money without a proper plan in place, not only won’t help you qualify for Medicaid, it can actually delay your eligibility for years due to Medicaid penalty provisions. If you are close to needing a nursing home, you can’t afford to put off Medicaid eligibility for years because of mistakes. Medicaid planning must be undertaken carefully and thoughtfully with the help of skilled legal expertise.
I heard that Medicaid goes after a person’s estate when they die and takes back all the money it paid during their lifetime. Is this true, and is there anything we can do to prevent it from happening?
Yes, it’s true, and yes, you can do something about it. The process you are talking about is called the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, and assets left unprotected can be recouped by the government, unless you take steps to properly plan. One vehicle designed specifically to avoid this is a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, and there are other options available. Call our office to learn more about how this kind of trust might fit in with your overall estate planning goals.
We didn’t do any Medicaid Planning in advance, my spouse has just been admitted to a nursing home, and I don’t know how we’ll pay for it. Is there anything we can do?
Yes, there is, so don’t panic. We call this a Medicaid crisis, but there are steps you can take to afford nursing home care through Medicaid without having to go broke first. The process is more complicated than if you had planned in advance, so be sure to get advice and assistance from a qualified Medicaid planning lawyer. Making the wrong moves can do more harm than good.
Are there any good resources out there to help me find a quality nursing home?
There are many resources that can help you locate a nursing home or assisted living facility in Virginia, including the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Social Services, the Virginia Health Care Association, Virginia Health Information, and others. However, while these resources might give you basic information about the facility, such as the services it provides, the number of beds, or even the cost of a stay, they don’t generally tell you about the quality of the facility.
Another resource to consider is the federal government’s Medicare website. Here you can search for nursing homes in your area and conduct a side-by-side comparison using Medicaid’s five-star rating system that evaluates care facilities based on staffing ratios of nurses, inspections, and other quality measures. This is a quick way to see the most highly-rated nursing homes in Virginia Beach, as well as any that have been cited for abuse. A recent search revealed 31 nursing homes in Virginia Beach, including only two five-star rated facilities and 19 with only one star. It pays to do your homework.
Talking to friends and visiting the facilities in person is important as well, but doing basic research in advance can help you narrow your search and ease the process of finding a facility where you or your loved one will receive quality, attentive care.
Angela N. Manz: More than Just a Lawyer
Angela’s connection with Medicaid and long-term care is both professional and deeply personal. Outside of the office, Angela wears many hats—that of a mother, daughter, and a care provider. With an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by families with aging parents and an intrinsic compassion for the elderly, Angela doesn’t just offer legal counsel. She offers empathy, understanding, and a personal touch that resonates with her clients.
Contact The Law Office of Angela N. Manz for Help With Elder Law and Medicaid Planning in Virginia Beach
By partnering with The Law Office of Angela N. Manz, you’re not just hiring a law firm—you’re entrusting your future to someone who cares, understands, and has the expertise to help you navigate through the intricacies of elder law and Medicaid planning. Let us guide you toward a future where you’re cared for, protected, and at peace. Call 757-271-6275 to start a conversation or for immediate assistance.