Medicaid and Home Care
Medicaid and home care are integral parts of elder care planning. There are many challenges that come with getting older, and perhaps the most difficult is arranging for quality health care. As physical health starts to lessen over the years, the need for medical services increases. Unfortunately, this also leads to increased expenses. Medicaid planning attorneys at Morgan Legal Group, P.C can help. Our attorneys specialize in state and federal laws governing care for the elderly, as well as public programs and benefits like Medicaid and home care. We know how to navigate these complex matters and explore different options for elder individuals, aging family members, or those nearing retirement. There are many options available, and we are happy to assist seniors and their families in finding the best solution for their unique needs.
Medicaid and home care are two options for seniors that may require extensive planning in terms of preparing documentation, ensuring that assets are protected, meeting eligibility requirements, and most importantly, ensuring that the offered care is sufficient for the needs of the senior.
If you or a family member are looking into Medicaid and home care options, please reach out to us at Morgan Legal Group, P.C. to set up a consultation. We’ll assist you in finding the right solution for your health care needs.
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Questions And Answers
An important point within Medicaid planning is making sure that the wealth and assets that a person of age has worked for over the years are protected. One way to do this is through an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust goes a step further than a standard trust in that not only are assets transferred to the trust, but ownership of those assets is transferred as well, making it impossible for the trustor to make any changes. As such, the funds and assets within the trust cannot be counted towards Medicaid’s financial eligibility threshold as they no longer belong to the applicant but to the beneficiaries of the trust.
The Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT) is a Medicaid planning strategy that can be implemented to help individuals become eligible for Medicaid by placing assets within the trust. These assets are not counted towards the Medicaid income threshold and can be preserved for loved ones later on. Assets in this type of trust are protected during the application process and are also guarded from Medicaid’s estate recovery program which takes effect after a person’s death.
For a large percentage of the elderly, financing home and long-term care on their own is simply not a financially viable. Even those who count on their life’s savings for these services may soon find that their funds are insufficient to cover the costs. Seniors who are in need of home care services or long-term care should look into applying for Medicaid. There are certain requirements and eligibility thresholds to meet, but with the guidance of a Medicaid planning attorney, a person can have their finances and documents carefully planned out to qualify.
Medicaid is designed to make health care accessible to people with financial limitations and also covers certain benefits that Medicare doesn’t, such as long-term care. It is important to note that because Medicaid is intended to be a measure of last resort, Medicare as well as other benefit programs are legally obligated to pay claims ahead of Medicaid. In other words, if an individual is enrolled in both programs, Medicare will act as their primary health care provider while Medicaid will provide benefits that are not covered under Medicare.
Medicaid is a federal program that is administered at the state level. As such, the benefits offered by Medicaid can vary from state to state. In New York, Medicaid covers home care through other programs such as Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) and the Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). MLTC delivers home care or adult day care through plans and providers that need to be approved by the New York State Department of Health. CDPAP also provides home services for chronically ill or disabled individuals but allows more freedom in terms of choosing a caregiver and the types of services that will be provided. Both of these programs come through Medicaid. A person’s individual care needs and eligibility will determine what program is the best fit for them.
Home care services provided through Medicaid vary as each state runs the program a bit differently. In most states, however, the two most common services are home health care and personal care. Home health care is a skilled service provided by medically trained professionals such as doctors or nurses. As the name suggests, this service encompasses medically focused care such as checking blood pressure, physical therapy, or monitoring illnesses. Home personal care is a service that gives assistance to individuals in daily activities that are essential for their wellbeing but not medical in nature such as bathing, dressing, and eating. While these two services are the mainstays of home care, there are other provisions available such as homemaker services, nutrition services, and transportation assistance among others.