On behalf of Andrew Curtis, Esq. of Andrew Curtis Law Firm posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.
While some may think of Medicaid as a program that benefits children and others who are of limited income and means, even though they are physically younger and healthier, the reality is that a majority of Medicaid spending, about two-thirds, goes to senior citizens who need help with things like their long-term needs.
To put this in perspective, about one-sixth, or over 15 percent, of all spending on health care is through Medicaid, and two-thirds of that spending is on seniors, thus, seniors on Medicaid count for about 10 percent of health care costs.
Much of this cost goes towards paying the nursing homes where many seniors, about 1 in 3 across the country, will eventually have to stay. Of these people, only about 25 percent have enough savings or other means to pay a $100,000 a year bill for a nursing home stay. The rest, about three quarters, will have to rely on Medicaid for help once their savings are exhausted.
Especially given the fact that there are currently serious discussions about reducing funding for this program that are taking place right now, Palm Beach County residents have very good reason to start planning to obtain Medicaid benefits and to undertake such planning early on. However, as this blog has discussed before, Medicaid has strict income and asset requirements when it comes to qualifying for such benefits, as the purpose of the program is to help those who have no means of helping themselves.
However, this does not mean that a Florida resident should resign himself or herself to the fact that whatever modest fortune he or she may have accumulated will be eaten up in nursing home costs. With the help of a person well versed in Medicaid rules, there may be legal means by which a person can get some legacy to his or her family and still have Medicaid as a viable option.
Reference: The New York Times, “You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid”, David Grabowski, Jonathan Gruber and Vincent Mor, June 13, 2017.