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Need Nursing Home Care and Have Medicaid Already? Quick Guide and Steps on How Use Your Benefits

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A Medicaid nursing home is an option for low income individuals who need long term care. A nursing home will ensure the patients have a safe place to go in their old age. This is something that many of us will have to plan for at some point, whether it’s for yourself or a loved one.

Everyone must ensure they have found the proper facility, and they will need to learn how much is covered under Medicaid. The traditional Medicaid policy will pay for everything, and this article explains how the patients may learn more about their nursing home choices once they begin Medicaid.

Where Are The Nursing Homes?

There are many nursing homes in the state that will be paid for under a Medicaid policy. You can obtain a list of available nursing homes from your local Medicaid office. Call for assistance, and you will learn quickly which ones have spots. In addition, you may call the nursing home directly and ask if they accept Medicaid payments. There must be room for the patient before they enroll, and their coverage will be checked before the enrollment may go through.

How Long Will The Patient Stay?

Patients may stay in the facilities for as long as they like with the policy that is offered through the state. Coverage may slightly change every year as the state negotiates prices. They will be covered, but the patient or their caregiver will need to check and learn of any additional costs or changes to the plan.

How Long Does Coverage Last?

Coverage is managed by the state, and it is renewed every year just as any other style of coverage. The patients must check with the state if there is anything they must add to their previous application, and they will find it easy to receive new insurance cards. They may find quite a lot of solace in working with state employees they have gotten to know over the years.  They will have a policy that is easy to renew once it is longstanding. Medicaid recipients will be notified by mail when it is time to renew their application.

Where Are Applications Sent?

There is a county office that handles coverage in every region, and the county employees will review all policies. They will handle all paperwork, and they will help the patients check on their policies if there are problems. The customer service department at the local level will help serve each customer. In addition, they will ensure the applications are reviewed properly. The system only works when the patients are given the proper information, and they must be placed in the correct programs for their needs.

Outpatient And Long Term Care Programs

There are quite a few long term care programs that will take in patients every day. They may offer a sort of care that happens at home and in a facility. Certain facilities have outpatient programs and the state will help the patient learn which will help them most. The facility will do an intake for every patient. A treatment program that ensures the patient is healthy is coordinated. The family may be involved as they are often asked to care for the patient, and they will help the patient when they are at home. Medicaid programs that ensure care for patients in the community are offered through a state insurance program.

                     Medicaid  Applications

As you can imagine, the state receives many Medicaid applications each month. In addition, they have many facilities they work with. Each facility offers a level of care that is appropriate for patients, and the patients who have Medicaid will see their bills paid for in-full every month. They may stay in the facility for as long as is necessary. They will see a difference in their overall health once enrolled in the proper facility.

                    Medically Needy Guidelines

Everyone knows that Medicaid has income guidelines to determine eligibility. However, there is a “loophole”, as it were, if you are deemed to be “medically needy.”  This means that your income and assets may be above the state and federal guidelines. However, your medical expenses may be so high that it actually reduces your income. As a result, you may now become eligible for Medicaid.  Medicaid refers to this as “spending down.” Check with your local office for the details.

                        Medicaid and Your Assets

In order to be approved for Medicaid, your assets must be within the guidelines set forth by the state and federal limits. If your assets are more than what they will approve, you will need to “spend down” until you are within the eligible limits.  Spending down means using up your savings to reduce your income. You can choose to purchase whatever you desire in order to accomplish this. However, many choose to use their savings to pay out of pocket for nursing home care. Once those assets are depleted you may then apply for Medicaid. However, you must be in a Medicaid approved nursing facility.

                         What About Asset Transfers?

An important thing to keep in mind is that Medicaid will look back five years from your application date. If you have given away or sold property or assets for less than what is considered to be fair market value, you will not be eligible for a period of time. This means that you cannot “gift” property to a relative to reduce your income. In addition, they may impose a penalty  or a “wait period’ before you are able to apply and be approved for Medicaid.

                            Cost of Medicaid Care

While Medicaid will cover all of your nursing home expense, they will also take the majority of your income. A small personal expense amount will be left to care for your personal needs. This amount will depend on the state you live in and on the exact nature of your care. Whether you are in a nursing home or assisted living facility will also be a determining factor.