Is Medicaid for me?

With the ever changing health insurance rules and regulations, and the fact that no one truly has a clear understanding of what the new Affordable Care Act will offer or take, one thing is very clear, more and more elderly and disabled individuals will explore Medicaid eligibility.

Most elderly and disabled individuals earned the right and have Medicare Part A (hospital coverage), Part B (medical coverage), and Part D (prescription drug coverage). While Medicare is a great health insurance, it nevertheless, only covers approximately 80 percent of the medical expenses.

Some individuals have the ability to purchase a Medicare Supplement health insurance to cover the remaining 20 percent, while others choose the alternative and switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Generally speaking, if an individual has Medicare and a supplemental health insurance or the Medicare Advantage Plan, one would think they are covered 100 percent and have no need for any other health insurance. This may be true in some cases; however,, the above referenced insurance plans do not cover custodial care.

Custodial care is care at home, such as home attendants or nursing home care. Medicare would only pay for rehabilitation and that is anywhere between one to 100 days.

That leaves the individual with either privately paying for in home care or nursing home care, or if they had purchased Long Term Care Insurance it would pay for the percentage of care the insurance covered.

The monthly expense of a private home attendant or nursing home care can deplete the individual’s life savings in a very short period of time. Consider that a private home care services charge approximately $20 to $25 per hour, and nursing home private rates are approximately $500 per day, and that’s being conservative.

So what is the alternative?

Elderly and disabled individuals residing in New York State are fortunate to have a Medicaid program that allows them the ability to protect all or some of their assets, income, and homes and still apply for home care services and/or nursing home Medicaid medical assistance.

Applying for Medicaid does not cancel your Medicare insurance. You could however, cancel your Medicare supplemental insurance if you wish to save the monthly expense or need that money to pay for your living expenses.

No elderly or disabled individual should deprive themselves from the services which New York State Medicaid offers and provides.