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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 Reasons Why Medicaid Planning is Essential

blog posting by Christine Miller, R.N., CSA

  1. Laws regarding Medicaid are complex and state specific. To qualify for Medicaid there must be both a medical need and a financial need. Certain assets are accounted when determining financial need and others are exempt. The line between exempt and non exempt assets can be difficult for the layperson to identify.
  2. The cost of nursing home care is expensive and most people cannot afford it without the help of Medicaid or long-term care insurance.
  3. Many people have not purchased long-term care insurance, so when the need arises they rely on Medicaid to help pay the cost of nursing home care. Without preplanning, many spouses find themselves spending all of their savings assets to provide care for their loved one who is in the nursing home. When this happens, the spouse living in the community has little left over to care for their own needs.
  4. Applying for Medicaid takes time. The application process itself is complicated and lengthy and at times is refused due to ineligibility. Sometimes the evaluator may request additional information or need further documentation of medical need or financial assets. If you have any doubts about eligibility, it may be best to obtain expert guidance.
  5. Nursing home admissions are frequently unexpected and can be an emotional time for both the spouse and the person being admitted. Often times, the role can be reversed and it is the spouse who has been caring for their loved one who ends up being admitted. Unexpected situations happen that we don't plan for such as a fall, stroke or heart attack. When a situation such as this occurs, the matter gets a bit more complicated as now both individuals may require nursing home care.
Preplanning for Medicaid can give you peace of mind because you know what to do if and when the need arises.

Christine Miller RN, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor
Hearts and Homes for Seniors
Assisting Seniors in Transition