Advances in technology and medicine over the last several decades have led to Americans living longer and enjoying a better quality of life. Those same advances often mean that a patient is able to remain in his or her home who would have been committed to a long-term care facility in the past. The ability to remain home, however, frequently depends on access to in-home care and services. Because many health insurance policies do not cover the costs associated with in-home care a patient who needs it may wish to apply for Medicaid benefits.
People frequently confuse Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is a federally administered healthcare program primarily for those age 65 and older. The Medicaid program is primarily funded by the federal government but is administered at the state level. For this reason, there are differences in both eligibility guidelines and benefits from one state to another. Typically, there are several different eligibility categories within an individual state Medicaid program with each category having its own eligibility criteria. Elderly applicants, for example, may have a higher income limit than other eligibility categories.
One major advantage to qualifying for benefits in the Medicaid program is that Medicaid often covers costs that neither Medicare or private health insurance plans cover. Long-term care costs, for instance, are not covered by Medicare; however, Medicaid will frequently cover at least a portion of these costs. Likewise, the Missouri Medicaid program does cover in-home care which can be an invaluable benefit to someone who needs it and their family. In-home care may refer to services such as a visiting nurse, a home health aide, or specialized medical equipment-all of which allows the patient to remain at home instead of being institutionalized.
If you are concerned that you, or a loved one, may need to qualify for Medicaid at some point in the future you should work with your estate planning attorney to create a Medicaid plan. Medicaid planning in St Louis Missouri utilizes legal strategies that will allow you to qualify for Medicaid benefits without losing all of your hard-earned savings and assets.