Simply because you do not have any apparent health problems right now does not mean long-term health care could not be a necessity in the future. In truth, no one can really predict the need for Medicaid, so it is a good idea to discuss the potential need with one of our Kansas City Medicaid lawyers.
You cannot predict an unforeseen illness
It is not uncommon for people to find themselves unexpectedly sick or injured. Those illnesses or injuries could possibly result in a need for long-term care. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of all individuals over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point later in their lives. For this reason, alone, it would be very wise to consider engaging in Medicaid planning. Our Kansas City Medicaid lawyers can help you get started.
You may require long-term care in the future so plan ahead
Far too many clients overlook the fact that the need for long-term care is not always brought about by an expected illness. The reality is, an injury (depending on how severe) can also lead to long-term care in order to achieve full recovery. In some cases, people need nursing home care because they need assistance with their daily activities, including dressing, grooming, and bathing. Those and other daily activities can become more and more difficult as you get older. Just remember that, simply because you are in relatively good health now, doesn’t mean that won’t change and you need to be prepared.
Private health insurance may not be sufficient to cover the expense of long-term care
It is an unfortunate reality for many that private health insurance will not cover the cost of long-term care, or at least not enough to make it affordable for everyone. The cost of nursing home care can be prohibitively expensive for most people. According to a 2015 report, the average annual cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home was estimated at $60,225 in Kansas and $55,663 in Missouri. The trouble is, most clients miscalculate the potential cost of long-term care, so they are not prepared.
Why Medicaid planning for nursing home care is a wise move
Medicaid benefits are meant to help low-income individuals pay for authorized medical services. Because Medicaid is a needs-based program, in order to be eligible, you can have no more than $1,000 to $2,000 in assets. As our Kansas City Medicaid lawyers understand, the purpose of Medicaid planning is to prevent you from exhausting all of your financial resources in order to be eligible for benefits.
Furthermore, whenever a Medicaid applicant gives away their property or assets just before they submit their application, the transfers of property are often considered fraudulent and result in Medicaid benefits either being delayed or denied. Yet, through careful Medicaid planning, you will be able to avoid the appearance of fraudulent transfers. If you have questions, contact our Kansas City Medicaid lawyers immediately.
How is Medicare different from Medicaid?
One way that Medicare is different is that its benefits are provided by way of private companies that have established contracts with Medicare. On the other hand, Medicaid is run by the state. More specifically, federal, state and local tax funds are used to help eligible individuals pay for their medical expenses. Because Medicare is a federal program, eligibility and benefits are uniform no matter where you are in the country. Although Medicaid eligibility and benefits are not the same in every state, benefits are typically available for seniors, individuals with disabilities, eligible adults with children living below a certain income level, and pregnant women. If you have any coverage questions, our Kansas City Medicaid lawyers can explain it to you.
Medicaid coverage: what you need to know
One of the basic differences between Medicaid and Medicare is that Medicaid is an income- or needs-based health care assistance program. As for in-home services, Medicaid will usually pay for services when a physician has certified that home care services are actually needed for a specific medical reason. In most cases, Medicaid recipients will only be required to pay a small co-pay for the medical expenses that are covered under Medicaid. Some recipients will not be required to pay anything at all.
Medicare Part A and Part B
Another difference seen with Medicare benefits is that coverage is divided into two basic plans: Part A and Part B. Each of these plans provide different types of coverage. Medicare Part A is essentially an insurance plan for health care services provided by hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and home health care. In contrast, Medicare Part B is more like private health insurance which covers outpatient hospital care, doctor visits, and other medical services.
If you have questions regarding Medicaid coverage or any other Medicaid planning matters, contact Gaughan & Connealy for a consultation either online or by calling us at (816) 974-3030.