Every state has Medicaid, though it may be called by a different title in some parts of the country. Medicaid is health insurance that is provided to low-income families and individuals who qualify to receive medical benefits. With Medicaid planning, both the Federal and State government are in partnership to help those who have an income below a certain level and need assistance in paying their medical bills.
But not everyone with a low income will be eligible for Medicaid. Certain requirements need to be met in order to receive benefits through Medicaid planning. Age is a consideration, as well as pregnancy, disabilities, blindness and U.S. citizenship. Rules may vary slightly from state to state, but the basics regarding Medicaid are much the same all over the country.
If you feel that you may qualify for Medicaid planning, you should definitely fill out an application that can be obtained through your Social Security or Human Resources office. The application can be completed in person, by mail or over the phone. Certain states may also give you the opportunity to complete your Medicaid application online. You will also have to produce certain documentation that will go along with your application for evaluation as to eligibility for Medicaid benefits.
What Documentation will need to be submitted?
- You will need to produce your Social Security card, Medicare card if you are on Medicare, and any ID cards for other health insurance policies you may have.
- You will need to show proof of U.S. citizenship and proof of your residential address.
- If you are working, a copy of your pay stubs for the last three months will be necessary.
- If you have any financial investments, such as bank accounts, IRAs, certificates of deposit, Keoghs, stocks, bonds, or other monetary assets, you will need to produce documentation on those investments. With certain accounts, you may be required to show documentation pertaining to the previous 36 months of the account. You will also need to produce information on any accounts that have been closed within the last 36 months.
- Your monthly expenses will be taken into consideration. You will be required to supply documentation as to the expenses you have on a monthly basis, including utility bills, car payments, auto insurance, health insurance premiums and rent.
- If you have life insurance policies, you will need to produce verification as to the face value of the policy as well as the cash value of the policy at the current time.
- Any burial plans or prepaid funeral arrangements must be documented.
- If you have any unpaid medical bills, you will also need to provide documentation of those expenses.
A married couple may need Medicaid planning if one of the spouses will be entering a nursing home. This type of expense can quickly wipe out any savings. Medicaid can come to the aid of elderly couples who find themselves in this situation. There is a spousal impoverishment provision that will protect the spouse of an individual who must enter a nursing facility. The spouse who is going into a home will contribute a certain amount towards his or her own care, and that amount is determined after deductions have been made. First, the total income of the spouse who is entering the home will be determined. Then, the following deductions are made.
- There will be a personal allowance amounting to a minimum of $30.
- The spouse not entering the nursing facility will receive a monthly allowance consisting of the amount of income made available to that spouse. If the spouse not entering the nursing facility has his or her own income, that amount will be deducted from the allowance.
- There is a monthly allowance for any other family members who may be living in the same residence as the spouse who is not entering the nursing home. This amount will also be minus any income that these family members may have.
- Medical expenses that the spouse who is entering the nursing home will incur are also deducted.
After these deductions have been made, any amount that is remaining will be used towards the nursing home expense.