Articles Posted in Medicaid & Medicare

AdobeStock_79789853-300x199While the American Healthcare Act or ACA (also known as Obamacare) has so far escaped the repeal-and-replace hatchet, the debate over how to restructure healthcare in this country is far from over.

One of the most controversial elements of that debate is Medicaid. Despite the broad news coverage on this topic, there is still a great deal of misunderstanding about what Medicaid is, who uses it, and how it’s spent.

Not just for the unemployed and the poor

AdobeStock_100981959-300x200By Lara Schneider Bomzer

Governor Malloy has revealed his new budget plan to reduce a deficit close to $1.7 billion.  The plan includes cuts designed to freeze the number of recipients of who may be eligible for the “Category 2” Connecticut Home Care Program for the Elders.  These are recipients who need care at home, but whose asset levels exceed Medicaid eligibility requirements.

Under the Governor’s plan, the current 2,500 slots would be frozen by June 30th.  If anyone were to leave the program after that, then a new person could enroll. Continue reading

AdobeStock_100520783-300x200By Brendan F. Daly

Clients frequently ask me what effect repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on Medicaid. The answer depends on which version you read (the two leading contenders: House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan or Health and Human Secretary Tom Price’s).

Most of the proposals have one element in common: a conversion to Medicaid block grants.

What does this mean?

Continue reading

 

Choice Wooden Letterpress ThemeFinally. A shift is afoot toward person-centered care .

Until recently, there was a Catch 22 when it came to getting care in the community. If you are 65 years of age or older, the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is available. But for younger people with complex care needs, the options in Connecticut have been limited.

The PCA (Personal Care Assistance) Medicaid Waiver is available, for example, but primarily serves individuals with limited needs and certain conditions. Additionally, the program has a cap on the number of slots available, and a long waiting list. Other waiver programs are also limited. Continue reading

medicaid claimBy Lara Schneider-Bomzer

A new Connecticut Supreme Court decision, Pikula v. Department of Social Services, establishes clear guidelines for determining if a trust should be considered a “supplemental needs trust” or a “general support trust.”

In general, assets held in a supplemental needs trust are considered unavailable in determining Medicaid eligibility for the trust beneficiary. Continue reading

Grunge Stempel rot PREPAIDYou have probably heard the phrase “spend down” – something you could do to reduce your assets which would help to qualify you for Medicaid.

A prepaid funeral contract is one of those items that are considered exempt. In other words, its value won’t be counted when the Department of Social Services is reviewing your total assets.

And that value has just gone up.

Pile of documents on desk stack up high waiting to be managed.In a recent post we talked about the eligibility requirements for Medicaid and the various Medicaid planning strategies.

But how do you actually apply for Medicaid?

If your situation is simple – say you have one bank account, never been married, don’t own a home and you live on your Social Security check – it’s a matter of filling out the application and sending it to the Department of Social Services with some basic documentation.

That situation is rare, however.

Many of us have a much more complicated lifestyle and portfolio. And when this is the case, you have to be extremely careful when applying for Medicaid. Continue reading

Complex formula

By Kathleen Michalak

“Live long and prosper” is a blessing made famous by the TV series Star Trek.

But living a long life can be a mixed blessing, when care needs increase, and finances decrease.

When assets are depleted, Medicaid is a safety net you want to look into. It often covers the cost of long-term care either in nursing homes or in the community. Continue reading

LATEST NEWSBy Brendan F. Daly

It’s hard enough dealing with the emotional impact of a spouse residing in a nursing home. But the financial stress of paying for the cost of long-term care—averaging $15,000/month in Connecticut—can be devastating.

Many spouses seek Medicaid benefits to cover the cost of nursing home care. In fact, 70% of Connecticut nursing home residents receive Medicaid, and for married couples, there are many ways to protect assets while ensuring financial eligibility. Continue reading

Safe and moneyBy Lara Schneider-Bomzer

Purchasing annuities is a good way for married couples to protect assets, but doing it wrong could mean huge penalties. Here is what you need to know about annuities as it relates to Medicaid planning in Connecticut:

If your spouse is residing in a nursing home or is in need of home care, chances are you’ve read our blogs about the ways to protect your assets and qualify your spouse for Medicaid benefits. But not all strategies apply to all couples. Continue reading

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