In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois and Missouri Elder Law attorney, discusses the term “Medicaid Bed” and what it means when you hear it.
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond from our offices in O’Fallon, Illinois and in St. Louis, and this is your Elder Law Minute. Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “Medicaid Bed” when it comes to nursing homes and you’re wondering, “what does that mean?” Does that mean that if someone is on Medicaid, they’re going to be in a separate ward or that they’re going to get a different type or quality of care? No, it doesn’t mean that at all.
Medicaid bed is actually a financial term of art, and that simply means that the nursing home will accept Medicaid as a form of payment for someone occupying that bed. So, in order to participate in the Medicaid or Medicare program, each nursing facility has to let the government know, “out of the total number of beds we have, in this many of those beds we will accept somebody who is paying for their care through Medicaid or Medicare as the case may be, be a resident who occupies that bed. Nursing homes vary on the number of medicaid beds they have.
Generally speaking, the smaller population density, the more likely it is that they will have all Medicaid beds. Most of the nursing homes on the Illinois side of the river have all or close to all Medicaid beds. Where the population is denser and they can get more people who can afford to pay out of pocket without having to take a long drive, in the St. Louis side especially and St. Louis County, there are less Medicaid beds in nursing homes. So, that raises the spectrum in some cases if you’re choosing one. Some of those nursing homes will have a waiting list, and a waiting list for a Medicaid bed means that you’re going to have to figure out another way to pay for it. Primarily paying for it out of pocket before your Medicaid eligibility could begin. So, that could become an important consideration in selecting a nursing home or in doing planning to make sure that the one you would want to select is still a possibility because you set aside money to be able to pay for it.
Important stuff. Stuff that you really ought to talk to a good Elder Law attorney about. Give us a call, we can help. Thanks
- For more information about Medicaid and Asset Preservation, visit these articles:
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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.