Age, injury, or disease can leave an individual without the ability to care for themselves. These individuals often need medical assistance and help in completing daily tasks. If you are in need of long-term care, you may be considering long-term Medicaid services as a way of meeting the financial burden of this care.
In order to qualify for Medicaid assistance, you must meet a stringent list of requirement. The eligibility requirements can vary from one state to another, but there are some universal standards to be aware of as you apply for Medicaid benefits in the future.
Because Medicaid programs are administered by individual states, those applying for benefits must be legal residents of the state in which they are applying.
Make sure that you are familiar with your state's residency requirements (many states require a valid driver's license issued by the state of residency) and that you meet these requirements before you apply. Otherwise, your Medicaid application will be denied, and you will be forced to start the process over again once you have obtained legal resident status.
Medicaid is designed to help those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of long-term care on their own get the medical assistance needed to remain safe. As a direct result of this goal, your Medicaid application will be evaluated using income limitations.
The federal government establishes poverty limits that are updated each year. Become familiar with these poverty limits and learn what percentage above the poverty line your state allows when it comes to income and Medicaid assistance. If you generate too much income, your Medicaid application will be denied.
Another important area that you must consider when determining if you qualify for Medicaid benefits is the list of assets that you retain ownership of. Certain assets are considered exempt by the Medicaid administration. These exempt assets include term life insurance policies and homes where a spouse or dependents will continue to reside.
Other assets (like real estate holdings, vehicles, and stocks) must be liquidated to help cover the cost of long-term care. Medicaid will step in and provide financial assistance for any services needed once your own assets have been exhausted.
Understanding the standards that your state will use to determine if you qualify for Medicaid will help you prepare your application for financial assistance in the future. Access to long-term care often depends on your ability to qualify for Medicaid, so work with a specialist to help you prepare a successful application.