Medicaid was considered a complicated program when President
Lyndon B. Johnson first signed it into law at the Truman Library in
Independence, Missouri, and it has grown even more complex during
each of the thirty years since.
Although it is a national program, it is administered by each
state. The rules and regulations are constantly changing and can
vary widely from state to state. So, it’s no wonder there are many
myths and inaccuracies surrounding the program.
This month, we are taking a look at the common misconceptions
we hear frequently about Medicaid.
“My mother heard about someone who…”
All too often, we meet people who have heard horror stories
about Medicaid from well-meaning friends or family members. These
stories are often filled with inaccuracies and half-truths that
frighten people into spending every last dime on nursing home care
for themselves or a loved one before turning to Medicaid for help.
Similar stories have also prompted people to assume that what
worked for a friend will work for them as well. So, they may give
their house or all of their assets to a child in hopes that
impoverishing themselves will immediately qualify them for
benefits. Unfortunately, they soon find out that these transfers
mean they are unable to receive benefits for several months or even
years after the money is gone.
That’s why it is important to contact an attorney who
concentrates his or her practice in elder law. With a clear picture
of your specific situation, an elder law attorney can explain those
laws that should allow an individual or married couple to preserve
their house and enough of their assets to live comfortably for the
rest of their lives.
“My father is already in the nursing home so there’s nothing we can
It’s true that a family can wait longer than they should to
contact an elder law attorney but it’s rarely ever too late to
establish a good plan. A good rule of thumb is that the earlier a
plan is put in place, the more assets can be preserved.
So, when is the right time to call an elder law attorney? You
should pick up the phone right now if you or a loved one does not
have a Power of Attorney in place for financial and health care
decisions. It’s important these documents are put in place before a
gradual or sudden decline in mental competency occurs. It’s also
important to make sure the financial Power of Attorney contains the
right language so Medicaid planning is possible.
You should also call right now if you think that nursing home
care will be needed by a loved one. This may be due to a diagnosis
of a terminal or debilitating illness, such as Alzheimer’s,
Parkinson’s or ALS. It may also be that your loved one is being
discharged from the hospital and told he or she will be unable to
care for themselves at home. All of these situations should be
reviewed by an elder law attorney to determine what type of
planning can be done.
“The Medicaid office can just give me the paperwork.”
Those who work in the Medicaid office cannot offer you legal
advice. You may not learn about laws that may allow you to receive
Medicaid and still keep part or all of your spouse’s income as well
as your own. Nor can they represent you or give you advice on the
laws that, depending on your specific situation, may allow you to
keep all of your assets without spending down a single penny.
Medicaid has rules and regulations in place to ensure families
don’t lose everything to nursing home costs. An elder law attorney can explain how those laws may benefit you and your family.
😀 Thanks Marcus for the explaination of Medicaid. It is beneficial to know all that we can from the start and less stressful when the time comes to put all the information aquired into action.
A huge thank you from me as well, Marcus. I am just beginning the journey on how to provide for my DH, who will be in need of NH care in the near future. Thanks for all info and I am going to contact an Elder Law Attorney now.
Thanks Marcus for re-posting my email. Most people don’t realize it, but they will be faced with the need for Medicaid some day. The average person runs out of their ability to pay privately after just 26 weeks of care, which means they must pursue government programs like VA benefits or Medicaid.
I explain how this all works in my free ebook that anyone can feel free to pick up at http://www.payingforalzheimerscare.com
I hope it helps a lot of families.
We need health insurance because we cannot predict what our medical bills will be. The types of health insurance are group health plans, individual plans, workers’ compensation, and government health plans such as Medicare and Medicaid. The purpose of Medicare supplement insurance is to help people cover their health care costs. Health care costs include doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, procedures, tests, home care, and other treatments and services.
I wrote about my recent visit to a lawyer to help me with Medicaid concerns on my website. It’s a long story that’s described on the link below. I found it quite confusing ethically.
NOT a link for profit or commercial interest
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, including low-income adults, their children, and people with certain disabilities. Poverty alone does not necessarily qualify someone for Medicaid. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with limited income in the United States.
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