Medicaid is a joint state and federally run health care insurance program that, in part, pays for nursing home and extended care expenses for eligible seniors. Because nursing home expenses can easily exceed $7,000 per month, people who are planning ahead for long-term care can often take advantage of Medicaid to help pay for those expenses.
Unfortunately, too many people don’t plan ahead for their long-term care needs, and even though many might have been able to use Medicaid, they often experience difficulties when they tried to do so. Here are some common Medicaid mistakes that you can avoid.
The best way to take advantage of Medicaid when you need it is to plan well in advance of actually needing it. Medicaid has specific eligibility criteria that may require you to have a plan ready at least five years ahead of when you may need nursing home or extended care assistance.
Medicaid applications can often take a long time to process, and many applications are denied at first. A good elder law attorney will be able to guide you through the application and appeal process, as well as help you ensure that your initial application is as good as you can make it.
A big part of planning ahead for Medicaid is understanding what kinds of assets are included in measuring qualifications. Some assets, for example, are exempt from the calculation, while others are not. Knowing exactly what assets are included and what assets are not is vital to ensuring your application proceeds smoothly.