Most people know that Medicaid provides assistance to people who
couldn't otherwise get medical care, such as the low-income elderly,
disabled, and children of poor families. Fewer people know that
Medicaid will provide long term care to people who are having trouble
managing their daily living tasks. If you or a loved one are worried
that you might need long term care soon, you may be eligible for
Medicaid. You must have a low income, as well as less than $2,000
in assets to qualify, and meet other criteria. Elderly people must
be 65 years old or more to qualify for the Medicaid program. If
you are already able to receive SSI payments, there is a very good
chance that your long term care will be covered by Medicaid.
People who receive long term care from Medicaid come almost entirely
from the elderly, blind and disabled groups of eligible beneficiaries.
Very few of these people are actually receiving SSI payments, however.
Certain provisions of the act which enabled the existence of Medicaid
allow people who don't qualify for SSI to receive Medicaid under
an alternate set of eligibility rules. In the past ten years, Medicaid
enrollment has skyrocketed. As of 1998, 40 million people were
receiving benefits through Medicaid. Now, that number is over 47
million, a little over one in seven Americans.
Financial eligibility for Medicaid in nursing homes or assisted
living communities requires that the recipient be receiving SSI.
If the recipient isn't receiving this benefit, they must have less
than $2,000 in resources. Some states use lower limits, so be sure
to check with your local Medicaid office to make sure that you
qualify. These resources do not usually include personal residences
and cars, but gifts or other transfers within 36 months of a community
or nursing home stay must be counted, as well as all trusts created
in the past 60 months.
If you are concerned about your eligibility for Medicaid, it is
important to find out whether or not you will qualify. This article
has attempted to communicate some of the guidelines for Medicaid
qualification and long term care. However, each state's Medicaid
eligibility requirements are different, so this information may
not be accurate for where you live. The only way to find out for
sure is to ask your state Medicaid office, either on the phone,
through email, or by visiting in person. Medicaid coverage can
be an important way for low income people to be able to afford
the long term care that they need. Anyone who needs long term care
themselves or has a loved one who will soon need long term care
should inspect their options and find out if Medicaid will cover
any portion of these expenses. Half of people who are currently
65 will need long term care at some point in their lives, but not
everyone is prepared for this contingency.