If a loved one requires a nursing home stay for 30 days or more, Medicaid benefits should be considered. Because Medicare and medical insurance may not cover all the costs of an extended stay in a nursing home (over $960.00 per month), Medicaid benefits can be used to help afford a nursing home stay. The rules in applying for Medicaid benefits are very complicated and constantly changing so it is important to seek the assistance of an elder law attorney before you apply.
In order to apply for Medicaid you will need to provide information about your income and assets, marital status, medical insurance and home related expenses. If you have a spouse you will also need to provide information about your spouse’s assets and income. The following documents will also be required:
- Account statements, including CDs, mm, savings, checking and investments.
- Pension payment information.
- Social Security Benefit information.
- Real estate deeds and tax bills.
After applying for Medicaid coverage, you typically will receive a decision within 45 days or 60 days. While this may seem like a long amount of time to wait for a decision, a Medicaid approval will go back to the month you first applied.
Once eligible, you will also receive notice of your Patient Pay Amount. This is the amount that you must pay out of pocket for the nursing home care. The nursing facility will then bill Medicaid for the portion that you do not have to pay.