In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois and Missouri Elder Law attorney, discusses whether a nursing home resident, who qualifies for Medicaid, should continue or cancel their existing Medicare supplement insurance or prescription insurance coverage.
Medicare Supplement and Prescription Insurance on Top of Medicaid: Good Protection or Overkill?
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law in O’Fallon, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri serving clients throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan area and this is your Elder Law Minute. One question that arises for us, not infrequently, is whether when someone who is in a nursing home qualifies for Medicaid, they should go ahead and cancel any existing Medicare supplement or Medicare Part D prescription insurance, or whether they should keep it in effect.
I have a very definite strong opinion on this and that is that you should keep those in effect and here is why. First of all, the way that the requirement of income contribution for the Medicaid recipient works. Anything that is paid for those insurance premiums, if they’re kept in effect, reduces dollar for dollar the amount that would otherwise have to be paid to the nursing home toward the cost of care. In other words, if your insurances cost $300 a month, you are going to pay $300 a month less to the nursing home.
Here’s why I think it’s important to keep those in effect. We want to make sure that you can still get the best healthcare available, the broadest range of prescription drugs if you need them, and there are an awful lot of providers who will be happy to help people with Medicare plus supplemental insurance because basically they know they are going to get paid pretty much the full amount for their services. Not all providers will accept people whose only source of payment is Medicaid because they’re not going to get paid nearly as much. So, the big advantage here is that in enables you to have the most choices of healthcare providers and healthcare treatments. So, definitely keep that insurance in effect. Thanks.
For more information about Medicare and Medicaid, visit these articles:
- What is the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?
- Why the Medicare Five-Star Ratings for Nursing Homes May Not be as Meaningful as You May Think
- 4 Myths about Medicare & Medicaid Long-Term Care Coverage
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