Medicaid Planning's FAQ?

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Q1:   What is the difference between Medicaid Planning and Long-Term Care Planning?

Medicaid Planning is determining your level of income and assets and what planning options need to be adopted in order to submit a Medicaid Application for approval.   Long-Term Care Planning is meeting with an attorney to review your estate planning documents, income and assets, options for long-term care and potential asset protection from future nursing home care costs and Medicaid rules regarding 5-year look back.

Q2:   I have Medicare, so why do I have to apply for Medicaid to have my care in an assisted living facility and/or nursing home paid for by Medicaid.

Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term care or stays at a skilled nursing facility and/or assisted living facility. Medicare pays for rehabilitation at skilled nursing homes as long as you meet specific requirements, and typically lasts between 20 days and 100 days.

Q3:   Is Medicaid going to take my home?

If you plan properly Medicaid will NOT be able to take your home. Speaking with an Elder Law attorney will enable you to take the necessary steps to protect your home from Medicaid and/or long-term care costs.

Q4:   My mother is receiving rehabilitation services after a stroke, and we were just told that Medicare is not going to pay for her rehabilitation services anymore and that she is going to need long-term care. What do we do?

Medicare will pay for rehabilitation services for up to 20 days at 100% and has a co-pay that can be hundreds of dollars per day for days 21 through 100, but only if the patient is participating and improving with rehabilitation.  If the patient is not participating and/or improving from the services, Medicare will not continue to pay.  Due to the timeframe for applying for Medicaid benefits we encourage families to contact our law office as soon as a family member enters rehabilitation to plan for obtaining Medicaid services as quickly as possible.  Private-Pay for a nursing home can range between $10,000-$14,000 per month.

Q5:   If my income is over the income eligibility requirement, does that mean I cannot apply for Medicaid benefits?

If the appropriate actions are not taken, such as a qualified income trust, you will not be able to obtain Medicaid benefits.  Florida allows several options for reducing the amount of countable income.  We offer a free initial consultation where we can advise you what is the best plan of action.

Q6:   How long does it take to get on Medicaid?

There is no such thing as an instantaneous Medicaid Application. Medicaid requires that all documentation needed is submitted or the application is denied.   Sometimes, it is difficult for individuals or families to obtain the necessary documents in a timely manner, which delays the application being submitted.  We have Medicaid Specialists at our firm, who are assigned to provide guidance and assistance in this process.   Once the application is submitted it normally takes months to obtain approval.

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