There are a number of excellent government programs in existence that many people are only vaguely aware of. Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the Medicare program, but many Americans are not quite sure what Medicaid does, and even less sure about whom is entitled to it. Sometimes Medicaid lawyers are the person best qualified to answer questions about Medicaid eligibility and benefits.
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a government program, established in 1965 at the same time as Medicare. These benefits are available to low-income individuals and families, as well as to certain individuals and families who fit into an eligibility group that is recognized by federal and state law. Unlike some other government programs, Medicaid does not pay money to the individual. Instead, payments are made directly to the health care providers. In some states, Medicaid recipients may be required to pay a co-payment for a portion of their medical services.
Who is eligible for Medicaid benefits?
The answer to this question depends largely on how much money the individual makes. However, other factors may be considered. These could include how much property one owns, the age of the individual, and certain other criteria. Most people who are eligible for Medicaid benefits fall in one of these categories:
- Persons age 65 and older
- Persons under age 19, or those under 21 if in foster care
- Persons who are blind, pregnant, or disabled (including the working disabled)
- Parents or caretakers of a child with an absent, disabled, or unemployed parent
- Those living in nursing homes
- Individuals in medical need of certain home-based and community-based services
- Some individuals who have breast or cervical cancer
Why might you need Medicaid lawyers?
Medicaid laws can be very complicated, and a person may require assistance determining their rights in terms of eligibility and to assist with future planning. An individual may find that a Medicaid lawyer is particularly helpful when requiring assistance planning for long-term care for themselves or for an eligible family member.
How do you find Medicaid lawyers?
There are a number of options available to assist in finding qualified Medicaid lawyers. One of the easiest ways to find a Medicaid lawyer is through the use of a local legal referral service. Quite frequently, these legal referral services maintain hotlines. When individuals know that they need legal assistance, but just do not know an attorney who they can call, they will often take advantage of a legal hotline. These hotline services will typically take the caller’s basic information, including the caller’s name, address, and type of legal help needed. A screener will then determine the type of legal help needed, and provide the name, address, and phone number of a local lawyer specializing in that particular field of law. These referrals are often offered free of charge. Some referral services may even offer a discount on legal consultations with participating attorneys.
Another option available for finding a Medicaid lawyer is to check with the local bar association. This is a relatively simple matter. Just visit the website for the bar association in your area. While most bar association websites provide lawyer search engines, some of these websites may instead provide an online lawyer directory, providing a list of phone numbers for lawyers specializing in the practice of Medicaid law.
There is yet another option available to help in locating Medicaid lawyers. This alternative may be more time consuming, but some people prefer to talk directly with local law firms to determine if they have attorneys specializing in Medicaid law. This is an expanding area of legal practice, and most cities have a number of attorneys specializing in Medicaid and elder law.
Medical care is increasingly expensive. Medicaid is a valuable benefit available to many Americans. If you have questions about Medicaid eligibility or benefits, it is a good idea to seek the guidance of a qualified Medicaid lawyer. These attorneys are thoroughly trained to assist clients in these matters.