Medicaid regulations are complex, especially as they pertain to nursing home care. No one knows in advance whether they will need such care, but if you do, it will have serious consequences for your finances and those of your heirs. So it’s important to understand how you can qualify for Medicaid coverage and still protect your home and life savings.
On this topic I recommend K. Gabriel Heiser’s comprehensive and accessible book, “How to Protect Your Family’s Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets” (Phylius Press). The book is not intended to replace an attorney specializing in Medicaid, but it will provide you with valuable information you will need to have worthwhile discussions with an attorney.
The book is well-organized and explains issues such as what Medicaid does and does not cover, when and how to apply for benefits, medical and income qualification rules, and how to transfer assets in ways that meet Medicaid requirements legally.
…Heiser’s book will certainly be invaluable to anyone who wants to understand how Medicaid works and steps that can be taken to be eligible for benefits. However, the book will be also be extremely valuable to individuals who want to learn more about estate planning, trusts and annuities. I consider it required reading for anyone who plans to discuss Medicaid issues with an elder-care attorney.“
(See full review here.)
–Reviewed by Elliot Raphaelson, for The Chicago Tribune
“Well written, clear, easy to follow, and well organized…I have read your book and it is great! It is a perfect quick tour of Medicaid planning…
I highly recommend it to anyone who needs to get quickly up to speed when the need arises because a friend or family member is facing nursing home expenses…or who wants to think ahead to that possible need.
Lawyers can give it to clients to help them understand “the rules.” Advisors don’t need to fear this book will turn their paying clients into do-it-yourselfers, because almost every rule contains state-specific variations and this book does not cover those. So for clients and would-be clients, this book shows why they need the help of a pro. I especially appreciate the clear delineation between the forbidden and the permitted. It’s well written, clear, easy to follow, and well organized. I found it very useful when helping a friend who has just entered a nursing home.”
––Reviewed by Natalie B. Choate, nationally recognized attorney and America’s leading speaker on retirement planning; author of Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits
“The question of how to protect your family assets is timely. It is an important consideration faced by the majority of American citizens. As a result of longer life expectancy, rising medical costs, and complicated governmental programs, more and more people are forced to spend all their money before they ever qualify to take advantage of Medicaid benefits. Heiser’s book is a godsend as it guides the reader through the complex issues relating to Medicaid benefits, qualifications, and application strategies.
This amazing guidebook will help you discover the secrets of protecting your family assets in ways that will not disqualify you from Medicaid benefits. The contents include a comprehensive working definition of Medicaid, what is provided, and how to apply for the program. Medical and income qualifications are covered in detail. Strategies for transferring assets, setting up trusts, and planning annuities are all addressed.
I personally found the Case Studies to be helpful. These examples gave several possible scenarios which offered me ideas for integrating these applications to planning an approach to finding solutions in my own life situation.
The appendix contains important information on a Durable Power of Attorney, as well as valuable suggestions on obtaining a qualified attorney. A glossary, important statistical tables, some applicable federal laws, a list of resources and agencies available, and Medicaid questionnaires, all make this a valuable resource and reference guide.
K. Gabriel Heiser, an attorney, with over 23-years experience in the field of elder law and estate planning is well-qualified to author this book.
This is an important guide for retirement planning and for anyone with a family member in, or approaching, a long-term-care situation. It can also become a valuable resource and reference guide for professional financial and estate planners, attorneys, for people in the medical profession, social workers, and ministers.
I found the book to be crucial, timely, and important. “How to Protect Your Family’s Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets” is a book that should be read by every American tax payer as well as by every recipient and future recipient of Medicaid benefits.”
–Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (4/07)
“Most Colorado attorneys who practice in the areas of elder care and estate planning are familiar with K. Gabriel Heiser. Heiser, a Boulder elder law attorney, is a frequent source of expertise and advice at CLE programs and on the CBA Trusts and Estates Section listserv. Heiser’s latest book, How to Protect Your Family’s Assets From Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets (Medicaid Secrets), provides Medicaid-related information and requirements and includes practical suggestions and examples.
Heiser employs a plain-English approach and down-to-earth writing style, making Medicaid Secrets an easy read—if you don’t allow yourself to get bogged down in the intricacies of such matters as community spouse resource allowances and minimum monthly maintenance needs allowances—and a welcome source of current, easy-to-understand guidance for attorneys whose practices include elderly clients, either directly or peripherally. The book also is intended as a resource for the clients themselves (and their children), as families attempt to sort through the complex set of laws and regulations that govern entitlement to benefits under the Medicaid system.
Rest easy, however, because Medicaid Secrets contains numerous cautions to lay readers, and to attorneys practicing in related areas, that obtaining the advice of an experienced elder law attorney in the client’s home state is essential to successful Medicaid planning for individual clients. In fact, my only slight disappointment with the book is that it does not focus on Colorado Medicaid rules. Although this makes the book more marketable in other states, the result is that it is not a ready source for Colorado-unique Medicaid issues and answers. That said, Medicaid Secrets does an outstanding job of pointing out the issues and concerns important to clients, in Colorado and elsewhere, who are or should be concerned about Medicaid eligibility.
Medicaid Secrets contains a thorough Table of Contents and a comprehensive Index that readers can use to easily find specific topics. It also provides numerous examples that prove in-valuable in explaining the concepts under discussion. In fact, the real-world examples, and their direct connection of Medic-aid policies and concepts to real-life situations, provide the true value of the book and set it apart from other published articles on Medicaid.
An additional fact sets this book apart from other published works: Medicaid Secrets is absolutely current. It includes the major changes in federal Medicaid law brought about by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, enacted February 8,2006, and the later amendments enacted on December 20,2006. It is important to have the most current information in an area not directly related to the primary focus of an attorney’s practice. Thus, Medicaid Secrets is a must read for practitioners who need to stay current on Medicaid requirements and policies, but who do not necessarily hold themselves out as Medicaid planners. However, I believe even Medicaid planners will find some thought-provoking ideas and concepts within the book’s pages. If you have been waiting for someone to sort through the new Medicaid law and publish an up-to-date resource, Heiser has done it for you in Medicaid Secrets.
I suppose one could debate whether there truly are Medic-aid “secrets,” or whether information buried in a maze of bureaucratic language (based on federal law and implemented in significantly different ways by each of the fifty states, and then implemented at the local level by individual clerks) really is in plain sight for all to see. Regardless, Heiser clearly has poured his considerable expertise and his years of practical experience into the publication of a book that I believe practitioners and clients will find extremely useful. So, what previously may have been “secrets” about benefits under the Medicaid system have been made available to all.”
–Reviewed by Kenneth W. Schroer for The Colorado Lawyer, an official publication of the Colorado Bar Association
Schroer is a sole practitioner in Colorado Springs, emphasizing estate planning, probate, and elder law. He is a member of the Colorado, El Paso County, and Missouri Bar Associations. Reproduced by permission of the Colorado Bar Association from The Colorado Lawyer (vol. 36, April 2007, p. 57). All rights reserved.
TestimonialsAll testimonials on this site are from actual purchasers of the book; their original letters are on file in our office.
“Your book exceeded my expectations in every way…”
“…and was well worth the cost. Its comprehensive coverage of the whole subject of long term care, and achieving Medicaid eligibility, was presented in a very organized and yet very readable fashion. It’s a great resource!“
— Robert J., Rochester, New York
“I loved your book!” “I found so many concepts, strategies and important questions to consider that I am going to re-read it again tonight to write them all down. The maze of ever-changing rules and differences between states (and even counties) can be overwhelming, but I felt that Medicaid Secrets armed me with specific questions to ask–questions that would help me understand the various viable options (and their risks and pitfalls) that a qualified ElderCare Attorney might suggest. (Heck! You even showed me how to find a qualified ElderCare Attorney!)”–Bret Elliott, Certified Financial Planner
“A Must-Read for Anyone Who Has Elderly Parents in Need of Nursing Home Care”“I never knew I could qualify my mother for nursing home Medicaid until I ran across Gabriel Heiser’s book, How to Protect Your Family’s Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets. I was under the mistaken notion that Medicaid was only for people on welfare. I was thrilled to discover that I could help my Mom, who’s now disabled, to protect the money that my Dad left her upon his death, as well as keep the family home that we grew up in — instead of selling it off to pay for nursing home costs. Medicaid Secrets is a priceless resource that’s a must-read for anyone who has elderly parents in need of nursing home care.” — Maria V., Beverly Hills, California
“A Godsend…amazing guidebook…should be read by every taxpayer!” “Heiser’s book is a godsend as it guides the reader through the complex issues relating to Medicaid benefits, qualifications, and application strategies. This amazing guidebook will help you discover the secrets of protecting your family assets in ways that will not disqualify you from Medicaid benefits. The contents include a comprehensive working definition of Medicaid, what is provided, and how to apply for the program. Medical and income qualifications are covered in detail. Strategies for transferring assets, setting up trusts, and planning annuities are all addressed.–Richard R. Blake
“I used this book to help my parents plan for their futures…” ““I used this book to help my parents plan for their futures. I had reviewed plenty of resources, but this was far and away the best overall. Covers trusts, annuities, and all the strategies simply and clearly. Tells you what is legal and what is not. If you can choose just one book on Medicaid planning, this is the one!“— Ruth M., Mystic, Connecticut
“Saved my mother $1.5 million …”“I read your book after my father had a stroke and was able to save my mother 1.5 million dollars and qualify my father for Medicaid. Thank you!” — Jeri T., Renton, WA
“The best book I have found on Medicaid planning— and I spent endless hours researching the subject!”“We purchased your book for our personal use. We are in our 70s and are thinking about an irrevocable trust to shelter our home. We have a preliminary appointment with an attorney this week and thanks to your book we are well prepared!” — Elisabeth B., South Jordan, Utah
“We read the book before meeting with an attorney…”
“We read the book before meeting with an attorney that specializes in these issues. It was great preparation for us. We would highly recommend it.“
— Barbara R., Ninety Six, South Carolina