Several times a week, when I discuss Medicaid eligibility, I hear the following reaction:
“I am not going to subject my parents to a Medicaid home attendant,” or “I am not going to subject my parents to a Medicaid nursing facility”. Moreover, they would prefer spending down their loved one’s life-savings thinking their loved one’s will receive better care since they are privately paying for the services.
I completely admire the children’s intentions, because it’s honorable, respectful, and ethically sound to use the assets of a loved one for their care; however, at the same time I have to admit that the action is ignorant to the following facts: First, anyone believing that a Medicaid home attendant or a Medicaid nursing home exists, are holding on to a false concept. Second, there is nothing wrong or ill about saving your loved one’s life-savings for them while they are alive.
Allow me to briefly discuss the first issue: there are NO Medicaid home-attendants, and there are NO Medicaid nursing homes. Medicaid is a government program that approves or denies applications. Applicants approved for Medicaid medical assistance will receive services (home-care or nursing home care), by a provider of services, that the applicant or their representative will choose, paid for by Medicaid. Who are the provider of services you may ask? They are all private agencies! The same organizations and/or institutions you would hire and pay for privately.
If the ill person was to receive the same care and services, by the same agencies, why would anyone wish to deplete their life-savings, when they can save those assets and use them for other things that Medicaid does not provide for, such items as, companions, rent, insurance, televisions, telephones, transportation, restaurants, new cloths, new furniture, etc.
Knowing these facts, I believe anyone privately paying for home care services or nursing home care, should seek the advice of a Medicaid professional, and see how their loved one’s can qualify and become financially eligible for Medicaid medical assistance.