Medicaid is a federal and state funded program that provides long term care coverage to certain individuals who meet specific non-financial and financial criteria. Medicaid, also known as Medical Assistance, has complex regulations that Elder Law attorneys can help a family navigate. If you or a loved one is faced with the unexpected admission into a nursing facility, it is crucial for you to understand what Medicaid is and what benefits may be available.
What’s the Difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
Medicare is a health insurance program that may help families pay for limited costs associated with a nursing home stay. However, generally speaking, Medicare does not cover long term care stays in a Nursing Home. At most, Medicare will assist with nursing home payments for a maximum of 100 days so long as the Medicare recipient meets the prior hospitalization and skilled care requirements. On the other hand, Medicaid is the government program that can assist with custodial care (i.e. activities of daily living) for an extended period of time.
What are the benefits of planning for Medicaid?
The financial burden that one faces as they are transitioning from limited care in their own home to receiving a higher level of care in a facility can be jarring. In Pennsylvania, the average cost for long term care is about $10,000 per month, or $120,000 per year. Most families are not able to sustain this high cost for a long period of time and end up draining their life savings to pay for this care. After their funds have been depleted, the family turns to the government for assistance.
Most families are not aware that they have options. Elder Law attorneys can create a plan tailored to your specific financial situation in order to protect what you’ve spent your life time building.
The Pennsylvania Medicaid regulations provides provisions which protect the “Well Spouse”, also known as the spousal impoverishment rules. Some families may not be aware that a portion of their assets are protected for the Well Spouse and may end up spending down these assets before they ever turn to an attorney for help.
If you would like to discuss options available to protect your savings from the costs of long term care, call our office at (570) 784-4654 to schedule a consultation.