Medicaid is among the most complex, complicated areas of the law, and I usually think it’s deliberately made so to be able to keep folks from qualifying or to discourage them from making an attempt to qualify. It’s the government medical program for the poor.
Medicaid is often confused with Medicare, which is the federal government medical program for the elderly. Almost all senior citizens qualify for Medicare, as long as they’ve contributed to the system over their working lives. For those seniors who do not qualify, they’ve a chance to “purchase into” the system by paying premiums set by the federal government. Benefits under Medicare are restricted; thus, seniors might buy “Medigap” or Medicare supplement insurance insurance policies that pay benefits where Medicare leaves off.
Medicaid, alternatively, is a joint program between the federal authorities and the states to provide medical care for the poor. As such, it is regulated first by Congress, then by state Legislatures. Those lawmakers have set the standards by which Individuals and everlasting residents (and only these classes of individuals, not “unlawful aliens”, to dispel a rumor) can qualify for government-paid medical care. While qualifications can vary from state to state, there are several ideas that apply across-the-board.
Though Medicaid has programs for poor folks of all ages, my law apply concentrates on the elderly and people are the programs upon which I focus. Relying on the state, Medicaid can provide nursing residence care and/or at-home care for seniors in need. Most individuals are aware of nursing home care programs, however at-house care programs, in the event that they exist in your state, can provide a terrific various to nursing dwelling care. New York, for example, affords nursing house care and likewise has an ambitious “community”, or at-house, Medicaid program; Florida, then again, affords nursing residence care and leaves it to the person counties to provide no matter type of at-dwelling care they can afford.
The program most individuals are aware of is nursing residence care, referred to in New York as “chronic care Medicaid” and referred to in Florida as “institutional care Medicaid”. If an individual becomes so infirm that they can not perform certain Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), they are unsafe dwelling at residence, and so they need medical help, they could need permanent nursing residence care. Contrary to popular belief, Medicare (the program for seniors) does NOT pay for nursing dwelling care; it only pays for restricted “expert nursing care”, which typically takes place in a nursing residence with rehabilitation facilities. A very good “Medigap” coverage will pick up the place Medicare leaves off, paying up to a hundred days in full for expert nursing care.
If a senior wants everlasting nursing dwelling care, however, they are both going to should pay for it out of their own pocket, with long-time period care insurance, or by qualifying for Medicaid. For many who can afford to pay for their own nursing dwelling care, kudos to you. For those who own or are contemplating purchasing long-time period care insurance policies, be a smart shopper: Those policies often pay a set day by day rate (a fraction of the full each day rate, especially over time) for nursing house care for a set period of time (usually only a few years), and often do not go into impact until the person is in the nursing residence for so many days. You will need to read these insurance policies carefully and understand them
The final option, Medicaid, is for the poor or those that have modest assets. Whether or not an infirm senior citizen will qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing house care will depend on whether they did advance Medicaid planning or whether their current financial standing immediately qualifies them. Generally an individual has to “spend down” a few of their belongings earlier than they qualify, though there are particular ways in which some belongings will be shielded.
Should you or the one you love is excited about studying more about Medicaid and proper planning for future qualification, make an appointment to see an elder lawyer who can overview your financial image and devise a strategy that will help you meet your future needs.
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