Thursday, November 20, 2014

What is Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid Planning is a service provided to clients who wish to receive Medicaid in the future. People generally pursue Medicaid planning for the sole reason of not being able to cover their medical costs with their assets alone and because Medicaid is the only insurance which will pay for home care aid and for nursing home costs.

Most people begin Medicaid planning well before their retirement as ownership of certain assets will make one ineligible for Medicaid. Correct Medicaid planning should be done at least 5 years in advance, as transferring assets in less than 5 years before applying to Medicaid may result in a penalty or make one ineligible

Long term care is EXTREMELY costly, and many families cannot afford to give the care their loved ones need because they haven’t planned ahead. Don’t wait too long as many people end up kicking themselves for putting this seemingly unimportant task to the side. An elder law attorney is your best choice when planning ahead for Medicaid eligibility.

Contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn & Associates, P.C.
right away by calling (718) 333-2394
or by visiting us online at

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Based on a true story (If you want to leave your assets to somebody abroad)

In 2011, I got a call from a client in Moscow. Here is what happened. The client’s uncle (lets name him Sam) died in NY in 2009 and left a substantial inheritance to his nephew in Russia - a house worth $750,000 and a bank account of $250,000. Sam was a financially affluent, childless and unmarried man, and had no other relatives. The question posed by a client was: “how can I get it?”

It was a tricky situation, since the uncle only left a will. If there is just a will, foreign-based relatives must hire a US attorney to probate (validate) the will. According to US laws, each will has to go through probate to become valid, even if no one is objecting to its validity. The probate court’s location must be in the county of uncle’s death. While under probate, all uncles’ assets are frozen by the court: thus, Russian nephew cannot use a house or bank account. It could take up to a year and a half for the process to be completed. The contestants (if any) may question the will on many grounds – was it indeed the last and final will of the decedent, was decedent in sound mind while executing the will etc… Again, I want to emphasize that the will is not valid unless it passes through probate – a process by which the court has to validate it. This process is expensive (and includes court and attorney’s fees) and is impossible to complete without a lawyer.

On the contrary, if the uncle left a trust, nephew would be in luck. If his nephew is a beneficiary of the revocable or irrevocable trust, created by an uncle, then the nephew would get an inheritance without any legal problems. It would be disbursed to the nephew by the trustee (or trustees) of the trust, according to his uncle’s wishes, and right away. Trust would never go to probate. The greatest thing about the trust is that it does not matter if the beneficiary is a US or a foreign national – the assets will be transferred to him no matter what.

Why am I spending so much time talking about this issue? If you want to leave your assets to somebody abroad, the best way to provide smooth transfer is to go to a reputable attorney, create a trust, and designate your relatives abroad as trust beneficiaries. This way, after your death, your relative would avoid wasting time and money on legal fees and will get everything you want to leave him without any issues.

Contact our office at (718) 333-2394

Monday, November 10, 2014

Medicaid Fraud Investigation Questions

Why am I being investigated?

Medicaid fraud investigations usually start because of the following factors: an unusually high number of Medicaid claims, a computer-generated analysis of Medicaid claims and billing codes, an anonymous call to a Medicaid fraud hotline, or a whistleblower who hopes to get a financial reward.

What are my rights during the investigation?

You have the right to bring an attorney or other representative with you to any interviews or meetings with the investigator. You also have the right to consult with your lawyer before providing any documents or answering any questions.

You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer the investigator’s questions. If you are a Family Health Plus or Medicaid recipient, your benefits cannot be stopped solely because you refuse to answer.

Should I answer the investigator’s questions?

How you respond to the investigation depends on your particular facts and circumstances. Some questions and requests for documents are appropriate; others may be improper. Sometimes it makes sense to cooperate with the investigator and negotiate a resolution; other times you must fight to protect your rights.

What are the possible penalties and consequences?

Medicaid fraud penalties range from restitution or repayment of what you received from Medicaid to harsh prison sentences. Some of the possible consequences include:

• monetary fines, penalties, and restitution orders
• disqualification from receiving Medicaid benefits
• civil judgments and liens on any real property you own
• garnishment of your wages
• criminal prosecutions and a possible prison sentence
• suspension or loss of professional licenses
• exclusion from participating in Medicaid as a provider
• depending on your immigration status, you could be deported

Will the investigator negotiate a settlement?

Depending on the nature of the investigation, the investigator may be willing to negotiate a financial settlement to avoid any court cases or criminal prosecutions. If you cannot pay the full amount of the settlement at once, the investigator will ask you to sign an installment note. You will receive a statement every month until the settlement amount is paid in full.

A Medicaid fraud attorney can help you by negotiating a settlement that reduces or eliminates penalties and interest – and, most importantly, by negotiating an agreement that your case will not be referred for criminal prosecution.

What is Medicaid fraud and abuse?

Medicaid fraud and abuse may involve either recipients or providers. When a recipient of Family Health Plus or Medicaid benefits is investigated, the investigator may suspect that the recipient did not tell the truth or failed to disclose important information about their income and assets when they applied for benefits. Some common types of Medicaid fraud and abuse involving recipients include:

Who is a Medicaid Provider?

Medicaid providers include any individual or company that is paid by Medicaid for providing services, treatment, or products to beneficiaries. Examples of Medicaid Providers include:

• doctors
• dentists
• pharmacists
• nurses
• occupational and physical therapists
• hospitals and nursing homes
• home health care agencies
• ambulance, ambulette and other medical transportation companies
• diagnostic testing labs
• durable medical equipment suppliers

(718) 333-2394

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New York Food Stamp Fraud Attorney Offers Guidance For Those Under Investigation

The New York Medicaid Fraud Defense Lawyers with Inna Fershteyn & Associates provide details on Medicaid Fraud Investigations (as well as Family Health Plus and other Health Insurance programs), Arrests & Procedures and what you should do if targeted by the NY Bureau of Fraud Investigations or Attorney General.

For more information see