Elder Law, Medicaid & Long Term Care Planning | Montana Elder Law

Elder Law, Medicaid & Long Term Care | Missoula, Butte & Helena, MT

Medicaid and Long Term Care

Montana Elder Law, Inc. advises seniors regarding how to obtain public benefits for long term care, whether that is in-home care, assisted living residences, or skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes). Our law firm applies various legal techniques and legal instruments which protect and preserve assets. We advise our clients regarding the most appropriate long term living arrangements for their particular situation and assist with facility placement.

Our firm is best known for our extraordinary personalized service. Montana Elder Law, Inc. will develop a tailor-made plan for clients and their families as loved ones age, including the best use and management of personal and financial resources to meet their long term objectives, exploring all home-based care options as a first priority when appropriate and easing transitions in the event a facility placement is required.

Medicaid and long term care

Medicaid Planning

Medicaid is a state/federal program that pays most nursing home costs for people who meet three eligibility requirements including aged or disabled need, medical need, and financial need.

In determining the financial need of a Medicaid applicant, Montana’s financial criteria is based on both income and asset levels.

There are certain assets that are exempt from consideration and can be kept when applying for Medicaid. These include:

  • Personal residence ($560,000 maximum equity)
  • Automobile
  • Whole life insurance with a cash surrender value of less than $1,500
  • Prepaid funeral plans
  • Household furnishings
  • Certain Medicaid Compliant Annuities & Promissory Notes
Prevent Asset

Planning ahead by consulting with a Montana elder law attorney will help preserve assets should placement in a skilled nursing facility become necessary. However, even when advance planning has not been done, an Montana elder law attorney can still help preserve assets and avoid very costly mistakes.

In Montana, in order to be eligible for Medicaid, the Institutional Care Program, an individual must be determined to be medically needy by the Department of health and Human Services and must be residing in a Medicaid qualifying nursing home or an Assisted Living Facility which participates in the Medicaid Waiver Program.

Additionally, an individual who is applying for Medicaid must have an income of less than the cost of the nursing home’s monthly fee and assets of less than $2,000. If the individual has a spouse who is not currently living in a nursing home, the so-called “community” spouse’s income may be unlimited.

A married couple living in a nursing home is only permitted to have $3,000 in assets. If an individual living in a nursing home has a spouse living in the community (not living in a nursing home), the individual residing in the nursing home is allowed to have $2,000 in assets and the spouse living in the community is permitted up to have a minimum of $24,180 and a maximum of $120,900in assets. One residence, one automobile, personal property, household furnishings, prepaid irrevocable funeral and burial arrangements and are excluded from the asset limitations.

Under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, if an individual transfers assets during the five years prior to applying for Medicaid, an ineligibility period may be assessed wherein Medicaid benefits will be denied. Post-DRA, the ineligibility period may not commence until the individual would be otherwise eligible for Medicaid as specified by the criteria above. Caution should be taken and a full analysis should be done by a Montana elder law before any transfers are made.

We provide Medicaid Planning services to the all towns and counties inMontana.

Long Term Care Insurance

Montana Elder Law, Inc. advises and assists clients in planning for and purchasing long term care insurance, a vital asset preservation tool. Long term care insurance can reduce the financial risk of long term disability and provide financial security for loved ones.

We have established relationships with some of Montana’s most widely known insurance agents and companies and are able to pass along this resource to the benefit of our clients.

Long Term Care

Medicaid Applications

The attorneys at Montana Elder Law, Inc. are knowledgeable and experienced in filing and gaining approval of all types of Medicaid applications. We attend the interview on our clients’ behalf, maintain excellent working relationships with case workers, perform all follow-up work and keep abreast of agency and statutory modifications and rule-making.

We are integrally involved in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and thus participate in the implementation of new laws, like the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). We are constantly interpreting the program and policy manuals which contain nuanced information about the application process. Furthermore, we work together with area facilities to achieve results for both our clients and the facilities.

If you or a family member is concerned about the costs of long term care and would like to learn what possibilities exist for these expenses to be covered by Medicaid, please contact one of our qualified Montana Elder Law attorneys for a free consultation.


  • Steve Darty is what the Law profession was originally meant to be. He is busy, as are all great professionals; but when with him, he makes you feel as if you are his only client.
    Jesse P.
  • We were very impressed with the time Steve spent with us. He was very thorough and informative. He gave us different options that were particular to our personal situation. We never felt rushed.
    Janet S.
  • Mr. Darty was knowledgeable helpful patient and understanding. He took the time necessary to help me devise a plan that seems thorough and thoughtful. He was available and responsive. I recommend him without any reservations!
    Michael S.
  • I was very pleased with the services provided by the Montana Elder Law, for creating an estate plan. Mr. Darty is very well versed in estate law and he was excellent in explaining things. I have recommended Mr. Darty to many people and will continue to use his services in the future, as needed. Suzanne N.
  • Working with Steve has been both educational and enjoyable. His intelligence, expertise, and humor are refreshing. His professional assessments are 'spot-on.' I look forward to working with him on future financial projects.
    Jane M.
  • Steve put together a full estate plan for my wife and I that makes plans for our children, their care, possessions and last requests. We would recommend that everyone have a will at least, and a full estate plan if you can.
    Justin H.
  • Very professional and knowledgeable. Explained things well and was a great help. Highly recommend Montana Elder Law. Thomas S.
  • Steve gets things done! He's very organized and cares deeply about each of his clients. Highly recommend!
    Makenzi H.
  • Steve was helpful in guiding me through sticky situation with another lawyer in Kalispell who was representing (actually misrepresenting) a family member. I've never met him but worked with him long distance.
    Laurie P.
  • Great personalized one on one service. Caring and professional.
    Edward B.
  • Steve has been wonderful to work with. Very responsive and accommodating!
    Marissa B.
  • Absolutely recommend this firm. Steve Darty works by himself and it is a very comfortable arrangement.
    Jane H.
  • Steve is professional and knowledgeable. Highly recommended.
    Drew R.
  • Helpful and knowledgeable, recommended! Lisa S.