Resources and organizations that can assist seniors and their caregivers with interpreting and utilizing their health insurance
benefits — including the federal Medicare program, which subsidizes health care for all Americans aged 65 and older.
Click on the resource names listed below to view details and contact information
MaineCare and Medicare resources
Trained counselors offer free advice to help seniors and disabled adults navigate their Medicare and MaineCare benefits.
Q: I need go into a nursing home, but don’t qualify for MaineCare. I’d hate to drain my life savings just to qualify. I’m thinking of giving away to my three children a few thousand dollars each and the family camp on Sebago Lake. Is there any problem with that?
Ask an expert: Sally Wagley
Elder law attorney, Levey, Wagley & Putman
A: It is important to consult with an elder law attorney before taking these steps. There are pro’s and con’s to making these gifts, and whether it is a good idea depends on many factors in your situation. First, there are tax consequences that you should understand. Second, it is possible that your strategy could backfire on you and result in your not being eligible for MaineCare for years. If you give away a total of over $2,000 in any one year and then need to apply for MaineCare long term care benefits within five years, the state may deny coverage for a period of months or years. That amount of time is determined by dividing the amount you gave away, in money or property value, by $7,667 – the average cost per month for a nursing home. The state does this to discourage people from giving away money and property.
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