Elder Law Blog

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Medicaid Planning: Don't try this at home

If you think Medicaid is confusing, you have some good company. A number of federal judges have arrived at the same conclusion. The following quote appears in Cherry v. Magnant, 832 F. Supp. 1271 (S.D. Ind. 1993):

The federal and state Medicaid statutes have been described as the regulatory equivalent of the "Serbonian bog." See John Milton, Paradise Lost, bk. 2, 1.592 ("A gulf profound, as that Serbonian bog Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old, Where armies whole have been sunk."). These regulations have also been characterized as "almost unintelligible to the uninitiated," Friedman v. Berger, 547 F.2d 724, 727 n.7 (2nd Cir. 1976) (Friendly, J.), cert denied, 430 U.S. 984, 52 L. Ed. 2d 378, 97 S. Ct. 1681 (1977); as an "aggravated assault on the English language, resistance to attempts to understand it"; Friedman v. Berger, 409 F. Supp. 1225, 1225-26 (S.D.N.Y. 1976); and by this circuit as "labyrinthinan." Roloff v. Sullivan, 975 F.2d 333, 340, n. 12 (7th Cir. 1992).

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Should I get divorced before I apply for Medicaid?

In hindsight, people might have acted differently. That could be the case with the participants litigating Colonial Park Care Center, LLC v. Dep’t of Public Works, 2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 406 (July 21, 2015).

In March, 2012, John Matjasic was admitted to Colonial Park, a nursing home. John was 77 years old at the time. In 2007, John had a stroke, after which he resided with his wife and daughter. Although the facts in the case are less than clear, it appears like John and his wife were separated prior to the stroke. In 2012, John had a seizure, which led to the nursing home admission.

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