Sunday, March 20, 2011


“Most people can qualify, under applicable law, for Medicaid benefits for Long Term Nursing Care, they just don’t know how.”

Long term nursing care is nursing care which is not covered by health insurance. Your health insurance (HMSA, Kaiser, Medicare) only covers you for recovery time out of a hospital, typically for up to 100 days per year. Nursing home care over the 100 days allowed by health insurance would be considered long term nursing care. Statistically, presently 40% of those who reach the age of sixty will need long term care at some point in their lives.

The major issue for those requiring long term nursing care will be “How will I pay for it?” There are three options:

The first is to pay for it yourself. Adult Care Homes in Hawaii charge $4,000.00 and up per month. Nursing care facilities charge even more ($8,000 to $12,000.00.) A family’s life savings could be expended in a short period of time.

The second option is to purchase insurance to cover long term care. Long term care insurance for a person age 60 costs approximately $2,000.00 per year. Most health insurance including MEDICARE limit the amount of nursing care coverage to a specific time period and a specific amount of benefits. This premium must be paid until you begin your stay in a long term nursing care facility, which may not occur for many years. Many people do not consider long term nursing care insurance because of the added expense.

The third is to plan to qualify for MEDICAID benefits, which will pay for all long term nursing care. MEDICAID is a federal program administered by each State. Federal rules and guidelines allow any U. S. citizen to qualify for MEDICAID benefits. Most people can qualify for Medicaid benefits, they just don’t know how.

To qualify, the value of your “countable assets”, not including your principal residence, must be less than $ 2,000.00. If you are married, your spouse is allowed $109,560.00 in countable assets. Countable assets over the allowable amounts must be spent, or converted into “exempt” assets before MEDICAID benefits are allowed.
Any gifts made within the five year period immediately preceding the Medicaid application will disqualify the maker of the gift from Medicaid benefits for a period of time.

We advise clients on how to legitimately turn “countable assets” into “exempt” assets by using the Medicaid rules, enabling them to qualify for Medicaid without spending all of their assets to make them eligible for Medicaid benefits. All assets are revealed to Medicaid along with your application.

In Hawaii, MEDICAID benefits are readily available to those who make plans for those benefits in advance. With proper planning, instead of spending the assets on your nursing care, your assets could be protected from Medicaid spend down and would eventually be left to your designated beneficiaries after your death.

Your principal residence is an exempt asset, meaning that it will not count against you when you qualify for Medicaid, however, upon receipt of Medicaid benefits, if you own a principal residence, a lien will be placed on your property for the amount spent on your nursing care. The lien will be enforced or collected some time after your death. With proper advance planning, the real property can be made exempt from a Medicaid lien and preserved and protected for the beneficiaries of your choice.

Money Back Guarantee:

We are confident that we will be able to qualify our clients for Medicaid. If we submit your Medicaid application and you do not qualify you for Medicaid, we will return all fees related to the Medicaid application.


Rodwin L. Wong, Attorney at Law, has been assisting families with their estate planning, asset protection planning, Medicaid planning, Medicaid qualification, probate and real estate matters since 1984. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of California – Hastings College of the Law. He is a member in good standing of the Hawaii State Bar Association and has held many free public seminars on matters related to trusts, wills, estate planning and Medicaid.

Attorney at Law

Medicaid Video

  If you are looking for an attorney to help you plan to qualify for Medicaid benefits for long term nursing care, assist you in drawing up an estate plan, help you understand the difference between a Last Will and Testament and a Revocable Living Trust, explain to you what your estate planning options are, or assist you with a Probate matter, you will find yourself in good hands.

  RODWIN L. WONG, JD, MBA, Attorney at Law, has been practicing law in the State of Hawaii for over twenty-five years.  He was born and raised in Honolulu, and has always considered Hawaii to be his home.  His fees are reasonable and fair.  His clients are a diverse mix of the people of Hawaii.  He is a member in good standing of the Hawaii State Bar Association, which oversees and promotes high ethical standards in attorney-client relationships.  He is a frequent public lecturer on matters of Estate Planning, Trusts, Wills and Medicaid planning and qualification.  He has personally assisted over three thousand families in the State of Hawaii with their estate planning needs.  He takes great pride in his work in being of assistance to his clients.