By Attorney Nathan Simpson
In a recent opinion in the case Wagner v. McCarthy, a judge from the Federal District Court for Southern Ohio issued a preliminary injunction against the Ohio Department of Medicaid for its interpretation of federal Medicaid law. Not only did the judge find it unlikely that the state would be able to defend its position successfully, she threatened to withhold all funding for Ohio’s Medcaid program if it did not comply with her order. This comes on the heels of Ohio’s continued unwillingness to follow the decision in Hughes v. McCarthy from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Both Wagner and Hughes deal with whether an individual going to a nursing home can purchase an income stream for their spouse, rather than spending down all but a minimal amount of assets on a nursing home bill. Courts have repeatedly held that the law permits this planning, but the state continues to refuse to acknowledge this.
Today more than ever, it is important to work with an Elder Law Attorney in planning for long term care, who will fight to ensure that the law is followed.