A lot of Americans have the notion that to be able qualify for Medicaid, their parents must have zero assets. Now, this notion is not only wrong but also costly since families who believe this are inclined to spend money to pay for the services that is usually covered by Medicaid.
Before taking this option off your list of potential senior care payment choices, make sure that you are not under these impressions:
1. I have an aunt living in another state. She isn’t qualified for Medicaid, so my parents aren’t qualified either.
Unlike Medicare, Medicaid is a program of the government that is a joint federal-state. This means that each state has a different set of eligibility requirements. So if any of your relatives or friends don’t qualify for Medicaid in their area doesn’t mean that your parents will have the same fate. For you to know if your parents are eligible to apply to Medicaid, do contact the Department of Health and Human Services. They will be able to tell if your parent’s look-back requirements and income for the state’s Medicaid Program is viable.
2. Parents are anxious they can’t give monetary support to our family for up to five years or else they can’t get Medicaid.
Being anxious of the look back period is normal since it can directly affect the status of your parent’s application. The first thing to do is to check with your state how long is look back period if you wish to gift money to your family. Make sure that you follow the rules set so you won’t have a hard time during your application. It usually takes about 3 to 5 years. If during these periods they give gift cash away, their Medicaid can be delayed, and not rejected. Delay time will be basing on the price of care in your area plus the sum of cash you gifted away during the look back period.
3. Parents aren’t eligible for Medicaid since they still have a salary.
Like we said earlier, your parents are not required to be broke to be eligible for Medicaid. Different states have a different set of income limit for their recipients. A couple from Texas will have a different income from a couple from California. This difference is based on the couple’s needs and assets, also depending on their state’s rules.
4. Parents refuse to live at nursing homes, thus they aren’t eligible for Medicaid.
Seniors can avail of different long term community-based Medicaid option depending on their state. These include but are not limited to care at home, nursing home or assisted living, and payment to a family member who provides care to them. These, however, still vary per state (eligibility, application, and look back period). Check for eligibility now, even if they don’t need it yet. It’s better to be prepared beforehand.
5. Parents have a nice house so they aren’t eligible for Medicaid.
If you’re applying for Medicaid, your parent’s house will not count as an asset. Your parents will be able to keep your house if you meet some these qualifications: one of your parents still resides in it, or a minor child is still there, or an older child who is disabled is still there. This is according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Some states also offer in-home Medicaid-funded senior care in which their recipients can still live at their house while funded by Medicaid.
6. Parents consider hiding their resources to avail of Medicaid.
Not only is this a bad idea, but hiding money while applying for Medicaid is actually illegal. There will always be a lookback period to be done by Medicaid workers to check your parent’s finances if they have made transfers that aren’t in accordance with their rules. This lookback period can range from 3 to 5 years. If proven that you have done something off the books, their Medicaid will be postponed. If it is found out that someone helped them to conceal this, it can be charged as a felony.