Tuesday, October 29, 2019
In Chattanooga, Tennessee, the cost of skilled care for chronic conditions such as Alzheimer's disease within a nursing home can run as high as $7,000 to $10,000 per month. If these numbers are seem daunting, one should start preplanning now for the possibility of turning to government benefits such as Medicaid.
The path towards Medicaid eligibility for long-term care is no walk in the park; regulation changes and clarifications, application forms, modernization of online portals, and other issues can be major pitfalls for any client. Here are some tips on how to navigate the path:
- Learn about the basic benefits, resource limits, eligibility criteria, and evidence requirements at your state's government website
- Gather important asset information (Medicaid has the right to know about the last five years, known as the look-back period)
- If your assets or income exceed Medicaid's allowance, research appropriate ways to "spend down" without giving assets away or attempting to hide assets - make sure to only take advice from knowledgeable sources
- Be aware that the most common reason for a denial of benefits is insufficient evidence
See Sally Brewer, Preplanning for Medicaid Benefits - a Critical Step in Caregiving, Chambliss Law, October 4, 2019.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.