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Nursing Home Care
There are many ways that Medicare or Medicaid can benefit you.
Yet, it’s important that before you use your hard-earned life savings to private pay for skilled care, you should understand all your options first. Simply filing a Medicaid application yourself (or having a very well-intentioned social worker from the hospital or nursing home complete it) can create more harm than good when it comes getting qualified and approved.
A nursing home or hospital that offers to file a Medicaid application for you has no obligation (and often is unable) to advise you on how to protect your assets. Only a qualified Medicaid Planning Attorney can provide you with the options you need to make an informed decision.
Rule of Thumb
Do not apply for Medicaid without a plan to ensure you qualify.
In all states there are many ways you can pay for nursing home care. Most people who enter nursing homes begin by paying for their care out-of-pocket. As you use your resources (like bank accounts and stocks) over a period of time, you may eventually become eligible for Medicaid. (This is how you go broke in the nursing home!!)
Medicare generally doesn’t cover long-term care stays (room and board) in a nursing home. Also, nursing home care isn’t covered by many types of health insurance. However, don’t drop your health care coverage (including Medicare) if you’re in a nursing home. Even if it doesn’t cover nursing home care, you’ll need health coverage for hospital care, doctor services, and medical supplies while you’re in the nursing home.
You can use your personal money and savings to pay for nursing home care. With nursing home care averaging $8,000 – $12,000 a month, how long will it be before your resources are depleted? Some insurance companies let you use your life insurance policy to pay for long-term care. Ask your insurance agent how this works.
Your state decides who qualifies for Medicaid. With the proper planning, you can qualify for Medicaid and have Medicaid pay for most nursing home costs. Not all nursing homes accept Medicaid payment, though the vast majority do. You may be eligible for Medicaid coverage in a nursing home even if you haven’t qualified for other Medicaid services in the past. Sometimes you won’t be eligible for Medicaid until you’ve spent some of your personal resources on medical care.
Sure, Medicaid is complex, but remember…Medicaid is there to help families just like yours. And we’re here to make sure you receive the benefits you’ve earned while protecting all of your life-savings allowed by law.
The first step in Medicaid planning is education. The more you know about how Medicaid works, the better you will be able to look out for the interests of your family.
Our LifePlan™ Workshops are a great place to get more detailed information.