Do you or your loved one have an immediate need for long-term care due to a medical emergency, a cognitive condition that is worsening, or an inability to function independently? If so, it may be the right time to begin the Medicaid planning and application process. The expense of long-term care can devastate a family financially. Home care can exceed $10,000 per month and a nursing home can exceed $20,000 per month. If there is a long-term care need or if a health crisis has struck, you will want to explore if applying for Medicaid is right for you. There are strategies available to gain Medicaid eligibility as soon as possible without risking all of your income or assets.
The Limits of Medicare – Medicare vs. Medicaid
We receive a lot of questions from our elder care clients about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare exists to pay for your medical needs, but not your everyday long-term, chronic care needs. If you need help with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, walking, or toileting, Medicare cannot be relied upon in the long term. Medicaid, however, is available to pay for this type of long-term, chronic care.
Determining Medicaid Eligibility
The first step in determining Medicaid eligibility is to evaluate which Medicaid program is the right program for you. There are two types of Medicaid programs that can be used to pay for long-term care. The first Medicaid program is called Chronic Care Medicaid, and it is for those who will receive care in a nursing home. The second Medicaid program is called Community Medicaid, and is for those people who will receive home-based care services. Both programs have income and resource limits for eligibility, and certain health needs must be assessed.
To determine eligibility for either Medicaid program, our team of elder law attorneys and Elder Care Coordinators, who have years of experience helping families qualify for Medicaid benefits, will meet with you to assess the right legal and financial strategies to protect as much of your assets and income as possible and help you receive the best care.
Applying for Medicaid
Applying for Medicaid is complex. There are strict financial eligibility rules that must be followed in order to obtain acceptance into the Medicaid program. Successfully planning and applying for Medicaid services requires both knowledge and expertise to help you get the best care while protecting the most assets. We can help you navigate the look-back periods, asset transfer penalties, and spousal risks to protect the greatest amount of income and assets.
Generally, the Medicaid application process includes four segments:
- Eligibility: Assess the health and financial circumstances, and undertake legal strategies to gain Medicaid eligibility;
- Application: Complete, submit and defend the application for Medicaid benefits;
- Advocate: Coordinate the providers and benefits, and advocate for the best care; and
- Maintenance: Ensure that asset, income, and care eligibility is not lost.
Together with the elder law attorneys at Tully Law Group, PC, Certified Elder Law Attorney Brian Tully has helped nearly a thousand clients over 20 plus years to navigate the complicated eligibility rules of Medicaid’s community home care and nursing home programs successfully. It would be our honor to help you and your family through this time.
A Unified Approach to Medicaid
We discovered years ago that our clients are more to us than just a home or investment account. We believe that the care our loved ones receive is just as important as protecting the assets and getting Medicaid.
As such, we have uniquely positioned our law firm to help our clients with the Legal, Financial, and Care domains of aging. These critical areas, when addressed by our unified and experienced team, can help the family achieve peace of mind.
We provide a service that addresses these Legal, Financial, and Care needs of our clients – it’s called Life Care Planning. This service also helps our clients and their caregivers navigate all of the practical and emotional needs that arise for families as they face significant challenges in providing long-term care for a loved one. We are able to provide this level of service because we have experienced Geriatric Social Workers on our team to help you every step of the way. We call them Elder Care Coordinators and they will support, advocate and intervene on your behalf when needed to help you through this difficult time.
Medicaid: The Advantages of Planning Ahead
If you do not yet require long-term care, it is best to plan in advance for this Medicaid eligibility. Please read more about our Elder Care Protection Plan services so that you can prepare for future care.