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How can Medicaid help my aging parents with long term care?

Shelley Webb
Nursing
Medicaid is a benefit program which is primarily funded by federal dollars and whose monies are administered separately by each state; therefore, the rules vary from state to state. For specific rules, consult an attorney that specializes in elder law. Consulting an attorney specializing in this form of law is definitely worth the investment because they are so many rules and the planning must be put into affect at least 5 years before a patient has need of long term care. Medicaid is probably the payment form that is utilized the most. In order to be eligible for Medicaid, there must be proof of medical necessity. Medicaid does provide coverage for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other dementias and there must be financial eligibility. When determining qualification for Medicaid, exempt and non-exempt (or countable) assets will be examined. Exempt assets are those which Medicaid does not take into account when determining eligibility. These include a primary home which is the principal residence, personal belongings and household goods, one car or truck (even if married), burial spaces and items related to burial for both applicant and spouse (there is a maximum amount that can be designated, so again, check with your own state's rules), irrevocable prepaid funeral contract (it must be irrevocable or it does not qualify), a life insurance policy with a limited face value (again, check with your own state for the maximum allowable face value), and a monthly income of $2022 if single or $4044 if married. Special needs trusts for survivors (for instance, if a child with cerebral palsy or other handicap needs to continue to be provided for ) are also exempt. Additionally, in some states, a home may be placed in trust for a disabled child to continue to live in after their parent dies.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.