When older adults prepare to transition from short- to long-term care, their families may apply for Medicaid on their behalf so that they can secure funding to pay for 24-hour skilled nursing care. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, but Medicaid will for older adults who qualify. For more information about qualifying for Medicaid to pay for long-term care, talk to the professionals at Elder Care Direction.
Criteria for Medicaid
To get Medicaid, an older adult will need to meet the financial and medical criteria for eligibility. In some cases, an elderly adult may have to go through a spend-down period during which he or she will pay for the care privately. After that, the patient may be considered to be pending Medicaid. People whose Medicaid applications are pending may not be admitted to nursing homes during the pending period because the nursing homes would not be paid during that time. If the patient is admitted during the pending period, the state will reimburse the nursing home for that time once the applications are processed and approved.
An application must be completed correctly and submitted before it will be considered to be pending. Families may need help from someone who understands the various look-back periods and state mandates for Medicaid. They may look to people who help with Medicaid planning, including elder law attorneys and Medicaid specialists. Here is how these two different types of professionals differ.
Elder law attorneys
Elder law attorneys practice in the area of elder law and understand the way in which different issues may impact the elderly, including the following:
- POAs, proxies and guardianships
- Long-term care planning, Medicaid applications, Miller trusts, and Medicare enrollments
- Health care surrogates and proxies
- Health care decision makers
- Special needs trusts
- Irrevocable and revocable trusts
- Elderly neglect and abuse
Medicaid specialists are businesses that specialize in helping elderly people to be eligible for Medicaid. They may also help to secure the documentation that the state requires and assist with the Medicaid application. Medicaid specialists are typically not elder law attorneys and will not be able to pursue other legal matters for the elderly. Medicaid specialists instead exclusively focus on helping their clients apply for and secure Medicaid.
Which type of professional should you use?
People may benefit by getting help from a professional to make certain that they apply correctly and that they use an appropriate method to spend down their assets so that they can become Medicaid eligible. There are only a few types of allowed divestments, making it a good idea for people to get help from a professional.
Elder law attorneys and Medicaid specialists both offer their own benefits. Attorneys are able to assist people with many legal services beyond Medicaid applications. Medicaid specialists may be priced more competitively than lawyers and may offer different packages and payment options. To learn more about your choices, contact Elder Care Direction today by filling out our contact form.