Applying for and receiving Medicaid is a confusing time for the elderly and their loved ones.
Often times children are helping their parents apply for Medicaid or managing their Medicaid plan. Other times, you are managing your own Medicaid plan or your spouse’s plan. And because you don’t know what you don’t know, many times people run into problems qualifying for Medicaid or ending up with the wrong plan.
If you are applying for Medicaid, either for yourself or for a loved one, what are some key things you need to know?
Who Qualifies for Medicaid?
The first thing you need to know about Medicaid is who qualifies for the program. Medicaid was created as a public form of health insurance that is backed by state and federal funds. Unlike Medicare, which is based on an individual’s age, Medicaid is for low income families, those who have disabilities and the elderly to help offset the costs of Medicare.
Most of the people who receive Medicaid aren’t able to receive affordable health insurance through an employer or their health insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of the care they need.
Is Medicaid a State or Federal Program?
Medicaid is a state run program that needs to adhere to specific federal standards. This means that who qualifies for Medicaid, the services that are covered and the types of programs available will vary slightly according to the state you live in.
How are Medicaid Services Managed?
Medicaid has evolved since the late 1990’s into different types of managed care programs. Medicaid beneficiaries select the care plan they want based on the state they are in, their income, and the services they need. Similar to Insurance Marketplaces set up by states under Obamacare, beneficiaries select a plan that has a variety of payment options, medical providers, and sometimes even optional services.
Selecting a managed care plan can be one of the most confusing aspects of Medicaid.
What Services Are Covered Under Medicaid?
While exact services vary, the main services covered under Medicaid include:
- Prenatal care
- Child Immunizations
- Child Wellcare Visits
- Physical Rehabilitation
- Prescription Medications
- Medicare Costs
- Nursing Home Care
- In-Home Care
- Community-based Care
Medicaid Services for Individuals with Disabilities
If you or a loved one has a mental or physical disability, Medicaid may be the main or major long-term care coverage. Medicaid helps cover many of the additional medical visits, prescriptions, therapies and equipment for individuals with disabilities that other types of health insurance doesn’t cover.
Medicaid Services for the Elderly
Medicare is often not sufficient to cover all of the costs associated with elderly care. Medicaid helps bridge the gap between what Medicare covers and what you or your loved one may need.
Dispelling Medicaid Myths
Because of the changes to Medicaid and the confusing federal and state regulations, many myths have developed around Medicaid and Medicaid qualifications. Answers regarding what assets you can keep, what assets you need to give away, and the situation regarding assets of married couples can vary, leaving people confused and frustrated.
It is important to get your information from a trusted resource and have someone with the right knowledge to help you navigate the Medicaid system.
What is a Medicaid Attorney?
A Medicaid attorney is a legal expert who specializes in medicaid planning and can help you and your loved ones protect important assets while gaining access to vital services.
At the Law Offices of Barton Levine we can help you with Medicaid planning for in-home care, nursing care and other key services. Take a look at our free resources here or Contact Us today and receive a FREE consultation.