Getting the government to pay for your long term care doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. The only problem is, many don’t realize the downside of what Medicaid offers individuals for long term care services. And many times, the care services are not up to their personal comfort and standards.
Get to know these Medicaid pitfalls before you plan to rely on the government to pay for your long term care.
Medicaid Eligibility Requires Jumping Through Hoops
While the purpose of Medicaid is to help those who can’t afford health care, many middle to upper-class Americans plan to rely on Medicaid to pay for their long term care needs as well. The program is jointly funded by federal and state governments and run by each state to meet differing needs and policies for eligibility. Many states require you to spend down to $2,000 before being eligible. Check the eligibility requirements in your state for a complete list.
The Medicaid Budget May Depend on the Administration
Currently, we’re facing the threat of huge slashes to Medicaid budgets. The need for Medicaid hasn’t declined, it has only grown, but the funds could be diminishing to help low-income children, pregnant women, elderly, and those with disabilities. If your plan is to rely on Medicaid for your long term care needs, you may be out of luck depending on the administration in office and proposed budget cuts to the program.
Medicaid reimburses doctors and facilities a small portion of the actual cost of treatment. With the threat of giant budget cuts, quality care could sharply decline due to lack of resources to pay for it. In addition, Medicaid options are limited. This means you may not get to choose a preferred facility or even the city where you receive care. The number of Medicaid beds available at facilities is fewer due to low reimbursement and many Medicaid patients are forced to wait on a waiting list for a bed to open.
Long Wait Times
Medicaid beds fill up quickly and many patients are forced to wait much longer than anticipated to get into a facility. Remember, Medicaid helps a wide range of individuals from children to the disabled and elderly. The demand is often greater than the beds available, making wait times longer.
Aggressive Estate Recovery Programs
Many states have aggressive Medicaid estate recovery programs to get their money back. If the state pays for your long term care and you pass away with a home or property of value, the state may come after your property after you die to be paid back. This is often a surprise to family members left behind. Family homes or property of value may be sold and the money sent to repay the state.
You can avoid these Medicaid pitfalls by making a plan for long term care now. Get a free quote and learn more about how Long Term Care Insurance can help pay for your care while offering you and your family peace of mind.