In Elder Law News

The date of enactment of the Medicaid asset transfer changes is unlikely to occur before the House of Representatives reconvenes on January 31, 2006.

Until the new proposals become law, the current rules apply. Transfers made before the law is enacted will not be subject to the new penalty period rules and other new provisions.

As we have reported, the Senate passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 with Vice President Dick Cheney breaking a tie vote. Among other provisions, the legislation would impose punitive new restrictions on the ability of the elderly to transfer assets before qualifying for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care.

However, because Senate Democrats succeeded in forcing minor changes to the bill before the vote, the House must vote again on the measure after having passed it by a 212-206 margin.

The Web site of the House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) reports that the House will reconvene for the 2d Session on January 31, 2006, with votes scheduled for 6:30 p.m. According to the calendar, the House will be in session for voting also on February 1 and then not again until February 7 and 8.

What does this mean for you? If you have considered protecting some assets for your loved ones in case you later require long-term care, you should contact a qualified elder law attorney now before the new law is enacted. (To find an ElderLawAnswers member attorney in your area, click here).

The House narrowly passed the bill the first time around in the early hours of the morning with some members not present and with only four hours to review a complex, 774-page package of provisions. Many representatives may not have realized what they were voting for. People who are concerned about the impact of the Deficit Reduction Act on them or their loved ones may want to make their concerns known to their congressional representative. For contact information for your congressperson, go to:

Related ElderLawAnswers articles:

Senate Approves Punitive Transfer Rules As Cheney Breaks Tie

The Message of the Pending Asset Transfer Changes: Don't Delay Planning

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