Is your parent single and in need of nursing home care?

Medicaid is the single largest payer of nursing home expenses in the United States. Unfortunately, in order to qualify for Medicaid, many people are forced to spend down the assets they have spent a lifetime to build. There are legal strategies you can use to preserve a significant amount of your parent’s life savings and still qualify for government assistance, and it starts by hiring an experienced elder law attorney Grand Rapids Mi.


A half-a-loaf divestment plan allows a nursing home resident to divest (or give away) half of their assets to another person, such as a trusted family member. The senior would then keep the other half of their assets to pay for nursing home expenses.

It is important to understand that this type of gift would result in a Medicaid penalty period, during which the nursing home resident would have to draw from their remaining assets to cover their eldercare expenses.

Different gift amounts result in different lengths of divestment penalty periods. This is calculated by taking the value of the assets gifted and dividing it by the average cost of nursing home care in your parent’s state. The government can also look back up to five years into your parent’s financial history for any divestments.

Since it can be tricky to determine how much money your parent might need while waiting to qualify for Medicaid, it is important to consult with a qualified elder law attorney. Medicaid laws can also differ from state to state. We can shelter approximately half of your parent’s assets while still getting them approved for nursing home Medicaid.


With any Medicaid or nursing home planning, it is best to consult the legal expertise of a knowledgeable elder law attorney. Determining the best legal strategy can prove to be difficult, which is why it is especially important to hire an attorney that specializes in elder law. General attorneys who manage a wide variety of cases are often not as informed about recent changes in Medicaid law and other relevant factors.

Without Medicaid, nursing homes will spend down your parent’s assets until they become eligible for government assistance. For this reason, it’s of outmost importance that you look out for your parent’s financial well-being.

If you are interested in our Medicaid or nursing home planning services, please feel free to call the Law Offices of Sean Patrick Cox, PLLC to schedule your free consultation with one of our elder law attorneys serving Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and West Michigan.