If you or your parents are past retirement age and have considerable assets, it is time to carefully consider Medicaid planning for the future if you haven't done so already. This is especially relevant if you, your spouse or either of your parents has been diagnosed with a degenerative condition like Alzheimer's disease or if there is a family history of disorders like Parkinson's with known or suspected genetic links.
If your spouse requires nursing home care, you're probably wondering how you will pay for it. Nursing home fees are exorbitant, and most Colorado residents won't be able to afford them without government assistance through Medicaid.
As people live longer, it's becoming increasingly common for families to struggle with Medicaid's rules regarding assets when a spouse or parent has to go into a nursing home.
Medicaid is a health insurance program for individuals based on financial eligibility. The program is funded by both the federal and state governments. Medicaid health care is attractive to seniors because it pays for long-term health care, whereas Medicare does not.
When facing the prospect of long-term care, either for yourself or for your parents, it's important to consider how Medicaid can work for you. You likely know that the program was designed to provide medical coverage -- such as nursing home expenses -- to people who cannot afford to get pay for it on their own. As such there are hard limits to how much money a person on Medicaid can take in, as well as the value of their assets.
Medicaid actually pays for a majority of the nursing home costs in the United States; however, to qualify for long-term care, a person or couple must meet specific financial criteria, which varies by state.