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How Do I Know if Medicaid Will Pay for My Nursing Home?

Are you concerned about the rising costs of long-term care? You’re not alone. A growing portion of the population in the U.S. will need some form of long-term care support in the future and very few people have planned for how they will pay for it. 

Most people are under the belief that Medicare pays for long-term. Medicare’s services do not provide for long-term support and therefore anyone who needs a stay in a nursing home or assisted living cannot rely on this as a primary funding source. Medicaid, however, could help to support some of the costs of long-term health needs, but potential patients should be prepared in advance for how to qualify.

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program, but it administered at the state level. Not all nursing home facilities, however, will automatically accept Medicaid. You need to do your research in your area to determine what applies to your situation.

Facilities that do take Medicaid payments will need to be licensed through the state in order to qualify for payments through that program and will therefore also be subjected to regular inspections to meet federal standards. States have their own income requirements as it relates to what the applicant can own prior to getting Medicaid.

Simply transferring assets to a family member or friend is not recommended due to the use of a lookback period; if the state finds evidence of your attempt to transfer to friends and family simply to qualify for Medicaid within a time period immediately before your application, this could lead to a penalty and qualification issues. This is why you should always discuss your plans directly with an attorney first and ensure you’ve considered all the most common concerns in the Medicaid application process.

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