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Medicaid/Medical Assistance Planning Archives

Get the right information about Medicaid planning

Medicaid/Medical Assistance planning should be an important consideration for many Pennsylvania residents who are thinking about how to cover the cost of medical expenses. Despite the efforts of the federal government, health care costs in America continue to rise. When it comes to medical expenses, Pennsylvania residents need to think about Medicaid/Medical Assistance planning and the possibility of using their own funds to cover a nursing home stay.

Eligibility Requirements for Medicaid/Medical Assistance

Medicaid/Medical Assistance planning can be helpful in obtaining eligibility for these government benefits by Pittsburgh residents, as this blog has discussed previously. There are specific income and resource requirements that a Pennsylvania resident has to meet before he or she can become eligible for Medicaid even he or she is medically needy. This is important to remember because, for many aging Pennsylvania residents, Medicaid may be the only option to help pay for long-term care.

Recent statistics: many people will need Medicaid

Recent statistics to consider for Medicaid/Medical Assistance Planning show that many people throughout the United States, including in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will eventually have to rely on Medicaid/Medical Assistance to help them pay for their nursing home care.

Medicaid planning versus Medicare

Medicaid/Medical Assistance Planning helps people to protect themselves, their families and their assets. Many people, including Pittsburgh residents, probably routinely confuse the terms Medicaid and Medicare, assuming that since they both may pay for some long term care, they must operate in the same way. However, payments for long term care by Medicaid is different from the insurance payments by Medicare.

The look-back period in Medicaid planning

What is the look-back period in Medicaid?  If you are one of many residents in Pittsburgh confusing Medicaid and Medicare and assuming that paying for long-term care is the same in both programs, reading this post may be beneficial not only to explain the differences between the two but also to understand the impact of the look-back period.

Let us help you with Medicaid or Medical Assistance planing

Medicaid or Medical Assistance planning may help to protect you and your family.  Medicaid is funded by the federal government and Pennsylvania as a need-based program, which means that people who apply must demonstrate their eligibility, both medically and financially. This eligibility process can be an overwhelming task, as the paperwork and necessary documentation can be very confusing. In addition, even understanding the technicalities can be difficult - some individuals might be under the impression that the only way to qualify for Medicaid/Medical Assistance is to spend down all of one's assets. However, this is not the case since certain assets are not counted when determining financial eligibility.

Proposed law changes could improve tools in special needs plans

For those with family members who have special needs, ensuring that there are adequate resources for the care of their loved one takes research and planning. This entails not only looking into and pursuing the government programs and benefits available to support that family member, particularly as he or she moves into adulthood, but also setting aside funds to provide for that family member's care.

Medicaid and Gifting

When planning for Medicaid or Medical Assistance eligibility, it is important to consider the issue of gifting.  Gifts made within 60 months or 5 years of applying for Medicaid may cause issues with eligibility.  This is known as the Transfer of Assets Rule (or the "look back rule.")

Happy 50th Anniversary to Medicare!

Medicare, which is not the same as Medicaid or Medical Assistance, is now celebrating 50 years of providing affordable medical coverage to U.S. citizens or a permanent (5 years or more) residents.  Medicare provides medical coverage to individuals 65 or older who are entitled to receive Social Security survivor or retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits when the individual or the individual's spouse has worked for at least 10 years in Medicare covered employment or who pays premiums for such coverage.  In addition, an individual who is under 65 but has been collecting Social Security Disability benefits or Railroad disability for at least 25 months may also be eligible for Medicare.  

Medicaid Planning and 2015 Medicaid Numbers

When doing Medicaid or Medical Assistance planning (also known as long term care planning), it is helpful to know what figures are used by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (formerly the Department of Public Welfare) to determine when an individual is eligible for Medicaid.  These figures usually increase every year.  For 2015, DHS has increased many categories involved with Medicaid for Pennsylvania residents.  

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