Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Senior Long Term Care Financing Option: How to Qualify for Medicaid Benefits?

Medicaid is a federal health assistance program administered at the state level for poor and indigent
Americans. It can help pay for senior long term care. However, there are general, functional and financial requirements that must be met in order to qualify for benefits.

General Requirements

As a general rule, Medicaid only grants benefits to people who are:

·       Age 65 or older
·       Permanently disabled
·       Blind
·       U.S Citizen or meet certain immigration rules
·       A resident of the state where the application is made

Functional Requirements

To qualify for long term care benefits, an applicant must receive certification from a medical specialist that he really needs long term care. In most cases, medical specialists decide that an applicant needs LTC if he has lost the ability to do two basic activities of daily living which include bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, eating and continence. Once it is determined that he needs LTC, the medical specialist will decide if he needs home or nursing home care.

Financial Requirements

After determining that the applicant needs long term care, the state will check if he is financially eligible to receive benefits.

1.     Assets – Medicaid only provides benefits for people who passed the poverty criteria of their states. Applicants must have limited worth of assets. Most states only grant financial assistance to people with no more than $2,000 assets. The financial value of the following are not counted in determining financial ability:

·       Home
·       Personal belongings
·       One care
·       Property that is essential to self support
·       Life insurance with no more than $1,500 face value
·       Burial arrangements
·       Assets held in specific trusts

2.     Income – Medicaid will also look into an applicant’s income. The income limit varies and depends upon the state where he is applying for benefits. Any amount received from the following sources are considered as income:

·       Social Security
·       Pensions
·       Salary
·       Wages
·       Interest from bank accounts
·       Veteran’s benefits

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