How to Use Medicaid Planning to Fund Long Term Care

Until recently, most people in need had few alternatives to enter a nursing home and destroy family finances. Today, long-term care can be offered in a variety of settings, and we often help our clients get assets and not impoverish a spouse who stays at home. However, most people in need of long-term care must eventually turn to Medicaid.

When Medicaid first contacted Medicare in 1965, it extended primary care to poor people, especially children. Over the years, the congress has greatly expanded Medicaid and now also funds long-term care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private households and other facilities. While all Medicaid applicants must meet very restrictive financial criteria, not every Medicaid beneficiary will be eligible for all benefits as each Medicaid program has its own eligibility criteria.

Because the Medicaid claim rules are Byzantine and complex, it is nearly impossible to carry out effective Medicaid planning without expert guidance. The uninitiated often spends all on home-based care, though senior lawyers can help most people save some of their hard-earned savings and still qualify for Medicaid to fund long-term care.

Although federal regulations set basic standards, states have considerable room to fine-tune available Medicaid benefits and skill requirements. Because Medicaid programs vary from state to state, Medicaid planning should be based on the law of the state in which a person receives long-term care, and Medicaid recipients who change states must qualify again. Hence, Medicaid planning may require significant changes as seniors move from Florida or other states to be closer to their children.

Depending on the extent and nature of the impairment, people in many different environments may receive long-term care. However, most people either go to a nursing home or a supervised hostel or are cared for at home. Fortunately, Medicaid can finance any of these agreements.

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Care options and Medicaid coverage

Nursing homes have a poor general image, probably because of their decidedly institutional appearance. Unfortunately, they are the only option for people who need significant support in many activities of daily life. Assisted living is an intermediate step, comparable to a senior citizen residence with restaurant, activities and local staff. Without a doubt, assisted living offers a nicer finish than nursing homes, but as limited care is available, they will generally not accept people who need significant help. As a professional 24/7 care is extremely expensive, but Medicaid coverage is modest, home care usually only works when provided primarily by the family with paid home health support as supplements.

New Jersey Medicaid pays for long-term care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and households, but not all states cover the costs in each of these locations. Medicaid is divided into two broad categories: long-term care and other care. Other care includes the usual diagnostics, preventative medicine, surgeries and treatments that we all need from time to time.

Long Term Care Medicaid covers almost all nursing home costs, most of the Assisted Living fees, and some home helps and other expenses that help individuals stay in a private home. All Medicaid applicants must meet financial eligibility requirements, but individuals seeking long-term care Medicaid benefits must also demonstrate that they cannot live on their own.