Medicaid is a federal and state program available to individuals who satisfy certain eligibility requirements. Disbursements from Medicaid are designed to help people pay for long-term care costs. Long-term costs often create substantial financial challenges for elderly Americans as well as their loved ones who lose both time and income while caring for their loved ones. Medicaid is still one of the best ways to pay for long-term care.
Unfortunately, many Americans wait until catastrophic events occur before obtaining Medicare. Under stress, families can commit various errors including listening to misinformed individuals. Medicaid crisis planning allows a person to qualify for Medicaid nursing homes without spending all of a person’s assets.
When it comes to Medicaid, crisis planning exists for individuals who have an imminent need for Medicaid. This urgency can arise if a person is diagnosed with an immediate condition like ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease) which requires immediate placement in a nursing home. In these situations, applicants often have no idea of how much nursing home costs.
If you have a loved one who is either in a nursing home or about to enter a nursing home, you should make sure to understand the nuances of Medicaid planning. To better prepare you for such a situation, this article reviews some critical details to understand some important details about Medicaid crisis planning.
# 1 – Medicaid Does Not Apply to All Facilities
One of the most common myths about Medicaid is that it exists only for poor people. In reality, Medicaid can help individuals with chronic conditions as well as other people who need medical assistance. To obtain Medicaid, however, a person must meet various requirements.
Medicaid does not pay for care in a personal care home or assisted living facility. Instead, a person must receive care in a skilled nursing facility or nursing home to receive Medicaid.
# 2 – Medicaid Has Restriction Regarding Resources
Medicaid also has strict guidelines regarding the amount of resources that a person or couple can have to qualify for compensation. If only one spouse becomes a resident of a nursing home, the assets of both individuals must be considered during the application process. Current regulations allow a person to use specialized tools to plan to reallocate some of these resources for the benefit of either the community spouse or family.
# 4 – Medicaid Limits Gifting
Medicaid also has strict regulations concerning “gifting” or giving away a person’s assets. Any amount given away that is greater than $500 in one month or over the 5 years before a nursing home application is classified as a gift and the applicant will be assessed a penalty period during which Medicaid will not pay for the individual’s care.
# 4 – Medicaid Does Not Cover All Nursing Home Bills
Many people believe that Medicaid pays for all nursing home costs. In reality, Medicaid covers the first 100 days a person is in a nursing home. As a result, Medicaid is often best utilized in a combination with other estate planning tactics to be the costs associated with medical care.
Speak with an Experienced Elder Law Attorney
The aging process is full of challenges including many of a financial and/or legal nature. If you need help navigating any elder law issue, one of the best things that you can do is promptly contact an experienced elder law attorney. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.