Have some questions about Medicaid? Maybe you’re helping a friend or a parent sort out there finances, or maybe you just want to learn more about it yourself. We know it can be a tricky process. Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. Our friends over at Moses and Moses PC put together this amazing intro to Medicaid Coverage just for you!
In short, medicaid is health insurance that you receive from the government. It’s coverage specifically for people dealing with specific health issues and have low incomes. Eligibility can vary by household size, income, and citizenship status depending on what State you live in. Most Medicaid plans let you pick your own primary care provider. Medicaid plans offer a lot of help when it comes to staying healthy. Your plan may offer preventive care services as well as coverage for medications, most at little or no cost to you. Depending on which plan you have, your Medicaid coverage may also include extra care and services as well.
Am I Eligible?
If you think you might be eligible for Medicaid, and you’d like to get started, there are a few things that you can do. First thing first, learn the details about your state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid will be different depending on which State your reside in. Some states may call it something other than Medicaid. You can conduct more research either online, or visit an office to find out if you’re eligible. Visit CMS.gov to learn more about the federal guidelines that apply to all states.
How Do I Sign Up?
If you’re eligible, you can then sign up online, by phone, or in person. Sometimes after you join, other States will try to sign you up again. We call this process “redetermination” or “recertification”, which just means you are re-enrolling. Always be on the lookout for instructions from your state on what you need to do to keep your coverage from becoming void. Your health plan may also contact you when it’s time to renew your coverage.
What is Exempt From Medicaid?
What assets are exempt for Medicaid? This can be a difficult question to answer, because every plan is going to be different. Medicaid will determine what they have in countable assets, and countable assets are going to be everything except for the exempt assets. For Medicaid, the exempt assets are basically the resident, the family resident, or if the healthy spouse is still living there. Their one car can be an exempt asset, prepaid funeral expenses can be an exempt asset as well. About $10,000 of life insurance is exempt with some exceptions, but generally this would still be exempt.
Of course, household furnishings are exempt. Almost everything else is accountable, though. This would include bank accounts, IRAs, real estate, stocks and bonds; it won’t matter what the name was on the bank account. it might be in just a parents name, it could be the husband and wife’s name, it could even have the child’s name on it, those would all be accountable assets. One thing I want to make a point about though is that even though an asset is exempt, it’s not necessarily protected.
For example, the house that a person intends to return home to can be exempt for purposes of Medicaid eligibility. But if we’re dealing with a single person in a nursing home who owns a house and is also on Medicaid, if they die, then the house is not protected. Medicaid can come back in and take that house through Medicaid estate recovery. So it’s important to understand that as you consider your Medicaid planning and whether to apply for Medicaid, that you understand not just what is exempt, but also what is protected and how do you go about protecting those assets against Medicaid estate recovery..
This is the basics of what you need to know before signing up for medicaid. You will want to ask plenty of questions and make some notes after talking to a professional. We hope we have provided some insight and valuable information that can help you better understand what you’re dealing with when it comes to Medicaid.