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.
Posts Tagged ‘long term care’
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.
In recent weeks I have explained that Medicare is not intended to provide assistance to seniors in need of long term care unless their condition is either terminal or expected to improve. Instead, under certain circumstances, Medicaid will provide long term care benefits to seniors in need.
In my last column, I explained the options to pay for long term care are very 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.
In my last column, I explained that long term care is not really about recovering from health challenges. It is about dealing with health challenges which will not improve, and which leave you or your loved one unable to take care of his/her personal needs.
In recent weeks, I have written about the importance of preparing for “long term care” needs. Before going further, I need to address what that term means.
Long term care is not about hospitalization. In fact, it is not really even about medical care. It is about the inability to provide for one’s basic personal needs, often called “activities of daily living”, because of on-going health challenges. Examples of “activities of daily living” include bathing, dressing, and eating.
By definition, the need for long term care can last for years. This is true even for residents of nursing homes, perhaps the most expensive level of care. According to one study, the majority of nursing home patients will be there for at least a year. In fact, almost 25% will remain patients for more than three years.
Imagine you are responsible for the care of a spouse or parent with dementia. He does not recognize you. He needs help dressing or toileting, but his innate modesty causes him to fight attempts to help. In fact, occasionally he reacts aggressively or even violently. He is otherwise physically healthy, and may remain in this condition for years to come.
In recent weeks, I wrote about the risk of long term care and the devastating impact it can have, especially when a family acts on misinformation. However, given the likelihood that most seniors will need some form of long term care assistance, and the sobering reality that there are limited ways to pay those costs, this is an issue that must be discussed before a crisis arises.