Although Medicare is not intended to provide assistance to seniors in need of long term care, under certain circumstances, Medicaid will provide that assistance. I believe Medicaid is a critically important safety net to assist our most vulnerable senior citizens in need. Therefore, it may seem ironic that the purpose of this column is to encourage you to avoid relying on Medicaid if possible.
Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid’
Last column I explained the options to pay for long term care are limited. Adding to the problem is a significant amount of incorrect information about what those options are. For example, many seniors erroneously believe Medicare will pay long term care costs. This is not correct.
On the other hand, upon meeting certain conditions, Medicaid will pay for long term care. I understand why people confuse the two. Not only do the terms sounds similar but, in some cases, Medicare provides assistance for some of the same types of health issues as Medicaid.
The statistics are intimidating. Seventy percent (70%) of seniors will need some form of long term care. Neither Medicare nor the typical health insurance policy provide coverage for this need. Yet the costs can reach, or even exceed, ten thousand dollars a month.
In the last several columns, I have addressed the medical and financial requirements necessary for seniors to receive Medicaid assistance with long term care. You may have noticed that nowhere in those columns did I mention the so called “5 year rule,” a rule that many have heard about but do not really understand.
To qualify for long term care assistance from Medicaid, a senior applicant must establish both health and financial need. Financial needs are determined based on both the income and the assets of the applicant. In recent columns I have addressed Medicaid’s income limit. Starting with this article, I will address Medicaid’s asset limit.
In recent weeks I explained that a senior seeking Medicaid assistance for long term care cannot have monthly income over a certain amount ($2219 for 2015) to qualify. However, there are several ways in which the applicant’s income can be calculated, based in significant part on the income of the applicant’s spouse.
In recent columns, I have been addressing how a senior must qualify before Medicaid will assist with the cost of long term care. One requirement is to establish financial necessity, which requires a review of the Medicaid applicant’s assets and monthly income. This column will address the income requirement to qualify for Medicaid.
To receive Medicaid assistance for long term care, a senior must show financial need. In some cases, significant financial decisions are made with the intent to qualify for Medicaid. Unfortunately, due to misinformation or misunderstanding, those decisions can have the opposite effect. I previously gave the example of a couple who thought they had to get a divorce in case one of them needed to qualify for Medicaid. As I hope you will come to see, this would have been exactly the wrong thing to do.
In recent weeks I explained how the health of a senior is assessed to determine if Medicaid will assist with the costs of long term care. However, even if the Medicaid applicant’s health requires long term care, the applicant must also establish a financial need.
In recent weeks, I have addressed the difference between Medicare and Medicaid as it relates to seniors receiving long term care. In the last article, I also discussed how Medicaid may be your most expensive option to pay for long term care. Nevertheless, Medicaid is an important resource for those without options.
To receive Medicaid assistance for long term care, seniors must meet certain conditions. Those conditions address both the applicant’s health and financial condition. This column addresses how an applicant’s health is assessed.