Seniors need to know the eligibility requirements for Medicaid because of the strong potential that they could end up relying on Medicaid to cover essential costs. Many seniors experience substantial medical expenditures because the risk of illness and infirmity rise with age. Seniors need to ensure that they have the ability to pay for their medical care, including nursing home costs. In many cases, the only way for seniors to get the coverage and help they need is to qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can provide help to seniors in understanding eligibility requirements for Medicaid in Vermont. Seniors typically will try to qualify for Green Mountain Care, which is the name used for Vermont’s standard Medicaid coverage for the disabled, blind, and people 65 and older.
The rules for qualification are very strict in terms of resources, assets, and income that a senior can have. These rules can make it difficult to qualify for benefits, even when you need them. However, a Medicaid planning lawyer can help to ensure that seniors can meet eligibility requirements and get Medicaid coverage when they need it.
Why Seniors Need to Know Eligibility Requirements for Medicaid
According to the Wall Street Journal, greater than 70 percent of people in the U.S. who are at least 65 are going to need long-term care some time over the course of their remaining years. For seniors who have reached the age of 65, there’s a 40 percent chance of spending some time in a nursing home and a 20 percent chance that this time in a nursing care facility will exceed five years.
Medicare isn’t going to cover nursing home care, unless you need care for a limited time to receive skilled medical services. Private insurance ins’t going to cover nursing home care either, in most cases. This leaves no choice for seniors but to pay themselves for a nursing home or to try to qualify for Medicaid. Paying yourself means spending thousands of dollars per month, which most seniors cannot afford- at least not for long. You don’t want to lose your entire life savings so you need Medicaid to provide you with coverage to pay for a nursing home.
Medicaid can also pay for Medicare premiums if you are struggling, and can pay Medicare co-insurance costs and provide coverage for things not typically paid for by Medicare. Since Medicaid can cover more than Medicare does and can pay for important things that Medicare does not pay for, you need to know eligibility requirements for Medicaid so you can try to get Medicaid benefits.
Making Sure You Can Qualify for Medicaid Coverage
Many seniors can meet income limits for Medicaid, but may have trouble meeting eligibility requirements for Medicaid due to having too many assets. If you have worked for your whole life, you likely have more resources than Medicaid allows. This could mean spending down your assets, including selling property, in order to pay for your medical care. Once the assets have been spent down and your resources are more limited, then you could get benefits. Unfortunately, by this time, you would no longer have all you had worked for, and the assets that you hoped to leave as your legacy would be gone.
You can make sure this does not happen to you by working with a Vermont Medicaid planning lawyer. If you begin the asset protection process well in advance of the time that you actually need nursing home care, you may be able to structure ownership of many of your assets so they do not count as Medicaid resources.
You can protect your property and wealth that you want to leave to your family, and you can get Medicaid coverage at the time when you need it and without a spend down or delay. You should talk with Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC as soon as possible to begin making your plans, as your ability to protect assets becomes much more limited if you need Medicaid to cover your care soon.
Getting Help from A Medicaid Planning Lawyer
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC understands the Medicaid eligibility requirements in Vermont and can help you with the medicaid planning process. To find out more about Medicaid coverage and learn about making plans to qualify for Medicaid when you need coverage, without spending down your assets, you can download our free Medicaid Analysis Form. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to speak with an experienced attorney who can assist with Medicaid planning so you can meet the requirements to get covered.