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When should I start planning for Medicaid?

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2021 | Elder Law |

Medicaid is a health care program that provides help to a wide range of people with low incomes and limited financial resources. Established in 1965, Medicaid is jointly run by state and federal governments and provides benefits for health care and long-term care needs.

Eligibility is based on a person’s income, not age or disability as the Medicare program. In 2015, an estimated 74 million Americans – about 20 percent of the U.S. population – had Medicaid coverage, representing the biggest source of health care coverage in the country. People, sometimes, wonder how and when they should begin planning for Medicaid to make sure that they have the best chances of being accepted into the program.

Advanced planning protects your assets

By doing some advance preparation, you and your family can avoid out-of-pocket payments for costs related to nursing homes as well as long-term care. Doing so will help you protect your assets. It is crucial to have the foresight and begin preparation sooner rather than later, otherwise, you may be stuck with expensive payments until your assets dwindle to nothing. But, first, make sure you or your family member qualify for Medicaid.

By looking at this list of groups that benefit most from Medicaid coverage, you may get a better idea about whom to plan for well ahead of time when seeking these government benefits.

  • Nursing home residents. More than 60% of nursing home residents receive Medicaid coverage. If you are pursuing moving into a nursing home at some point, do some research regarding Medicaid planning.
  • Non-elderly adults with physical and developmental disabilities: An estimated 45% of people within this group receive Medicaid coverage.
  • Pregnant women: If you are expecting a child and are Medicaid-eligible, make sure to plan at the beginning of your pregnancy. Medicaid covers almost half of all births.
  • Children living in poverty: An estimated 83% of poor children are program enrollees.
  • Children with unique health care needs: If you have a child who has physical, developmental and behavioral issues, research Medicaid as a possible resource. Approximately 48% of children with unique health care needs receive Medicaid benefits.

By planning for your specific situation, you can rely on Medicaid to help you pay for certain health care and long-term costs, while also protecting your assets.



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