In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois and Missouri Elder Law attorney, discusses Medicaid eligibility and the planning opportunities available if the nursing home you are interested in has a waiting list for a Medicaid bed.
What If the Nursing Home Has a Waiting List for a Medicaid Bed?
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law with offices in St. Louis Missouri and O’Fallon Illinois and serving people throughout Southwestern Missouri and Southern Illinois. In order for someone to be eligible for Medicaid benefits to pay for nursing home care, two things have to both be true.
First, they have to meet the financial requirements for eligibility, that’s something we can help with through planning. The second requirement is that they have to be in what’s known as a Medicaid bed. Now, that term doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of care, it’s a financial term that simply means that the facility will accept Medicaid as a form of payment for somebody occupying that bed.
Nursing homes vary. Some have all Medicaid beds, other have only a limited number. In the case of a nursing home that has only a limited number of Medicaid beds, and that’s frankly more common in St. Louis county than otherwise in the St. Louis metropolitan area, there’s some special considerations. First of all, you need to have a handle on whether you can pay the nursing home during that waiting period or it may not be a good choice. But, there are some things that we can do by way of planning that can make it so that if you are transferring assets out of harms way in order to protect them, you can actually have that penalty period start to run before the person has been placed permanently into the Medicaid bed.
That may sound technical, but I’m going to tell you that if you have a nursing home that costs $8,000 a month and the result of the way that the planning is done can get that person eligible for Medicaid eight months sooner, in a lot of cases we are talking about a difference in results that’s $50,000 or more.
So, if you are looking toward Medicaid and your preferred choice of a nursing home is a place that has a waiting list for a Medicaid bed, you’ll do yourself a big favor by giving us a call because I’m pretty convinced that in most cases we can get you a much better result than you could get otherwise. Thanks so much.
For more information about Medicaid and nursing homes, visit these articles:
- Should I Let a Nursing Home Representative Complete my Medicaid Application?
- Why the Medicare Five-Star Ratings for Nursing Homes May Not be as Meaningful as You May Think
- Medicaid vs. Private Pay: Is the Quality of Nursing Home Care the Same?
“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 or (314) 567-9292, or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.