Medicaid has long been a major provider of long-term care coverage for seniors struggling to cover the high costs of nursing home care. In fact, the program pays for more nursing home care than any other single payment source! As a result, millions of seniors rely on it to enable them to enjoy the long-term care they need. This article will explain how your Medicaid lawyer can help you plan for Medicaid benefits.
Medicaid Benefits Matter
In New York, nursing home costs can be as high as $100,000 a year or more. Given that few seniors have those kinds of savings on hand, it’s easy to see why so many people struggle to pay for their care. To get an idea of just how bad the situation is, consider this: most Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings. That’s less than the amount needed to cover two months of care in a nursing home facility, even when the senior’s Social Security income is added to the mix.
Obviously, those kinds of costs cannot be managed with meager Social Security benefits and negligible savings. That’s where Medicaid becomes essential for paying for long-term care facility expenses. The Medicaid program is the only major benefit program covering long-term care for all seniors who need it. Of course, that coverage is not automatic, since the program is designed to be needs-based. To qualify, seniors need to meet certain eligibility guidelines.
Navigating Medicaid eligibility guidelines
Those guidelines include both income and asset limitations, as well as residency criteria and a documented need for the type of care that nursing homes provide. In many instances, the financial eligibility guidelines can be the most difficult for seniors to meet, since it is easy for many older Americans to make just enough income each month to exceed the limit – or even to have too many assets to qualify. When that happens, seniors may find that getting the benefits they need can be a real challenge.
How a Medicaid lawyer can help
The good news is that you can avoid mistakes and ensure that you have the Medicaid benefits you need by working with an experienced Medicaid lawyer. That lawyer can provide you with guidance and assistance in a variety of different areas.
Figuring out which solution is right for you
It could be that Medicaid is not the right program for you. For example, you may have too many assets, and using Medicaid might result in the loss of more wealth than you’re prepared to surrender. And even if the program is the right option, you still need to know which strategies will best accomplish your goal of achieving eligibility. A good Medicaid lawyer can walk you through all those concerns and help you choose the ideal path to meet your objectives.
Helping you to better understand how Medicaid law impacts your situation
Part of the problem that many seniors have with getting the benefits they need is that the program is so complex. It’s difficult for the average American to look at Medicaid’s laws and rules and know how any of it applies in any given situation. With a Medicaid lawyer on your side, you can get the sound counsel you need to ensure that you fully understand the choices in front of you.
Determining the best way to protect your assets
What do you do when you have too many assets to qualify for Medicaid, but not nearly enough to fund your nursing home stay? You turn to an attorney for help! A Medicaid lawyer can work with you to devise the best possible solutions for your Medicaid planning, and use key strategies that can help you to qualify for benefits without spending all your assets on care. If you want to protect at least some of your assets and ensure that you have a financial legacy to leave for your heirs, then you need professional assistance to accomplish those goals.
Assisting you with the Medicaid application or appeal process
The Medicaid process might seem simple. You just list your income and assets and see what they say, right? If only it were that easy! The reality is that applying for any needs-based program can be a complicated affair. You need to know which income and assets count toward the eligibility requirements, and even know which documents to share with the agency to verify your claims.
A Medicaid lawyer can help you ensure that your application is completed the right way the first time. That can help to avoid delays that might hinder you from getting the care you need. It can also ensure that you avoid mistakes that might get your application rejected. And, of course, you’ll want a lawyer on your side if you need to appeal any potential rejection.
If you have questions regarding Medicaid eligibility or any other Medicaid planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Mary A. Miller, P.C. for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (914) 939-6565. We are here to help!