medicaid application form and penIf you're like most seniors we meet, you were shocked and disheartened when you first learned what nursing homes cost in Texas. Maybe you were hoping to ease the burden on your caregivers by finding an alternative arrangement on your own. Or maybe you are a caregiver who is becoming overwhelmed by the level of care your loved one needs. Either way, the money is simply not there to pay the high monthly costs. What are you supposed to do?

If the senior in need truly has very little income and no other assets, the answer is that Medicaid will pay the cost of the nursing home. However, many Texans have just enough savings and income to disqualify them from these benefits. That's where we come in.

How We Help You Qualify for Medicaid Nursing Home Benefits

The most important advice to remember is that the sooner you reach out for help, the better off you will be. As experienced Medicaid Planning attorneys, we can help you avoid common pitfalls and guide you in the right direction. Don't listen to your well-meaning neighbor who tells you to give all your money away and fill out the Medicaid application. And don't get frustrated by the information you find online, and give up all hope. Start with a call to one of our convenient offices. We can save you a lot of time and anguish! Here are answers to some basic questions we often get.

What Is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a government-funded health care program run through individual states that provides medical assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families. Medicaid covers a wide range of health care services, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and long-term care, such as nursing home care. To use Medicaid to pay for nursing home services, individuals must meet specific income and asset eligibility criteria set by the state of Texas. Once eligible, Medicaid can cover a significant portion or, in some cases, the entirety of the costs associated with nursing home care, ensuring that individuals with limited financial means can access the long-term care services they need.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Medicaid?

The specific income and asset limitations for Medicaid change every year, but what never changes is that a doctor must determine that you require the level of care provided by a nursing home facility. Medicaid does not pay for any portion of independent senior living or most assisted living situations. In general, as an individual, your monthly countable income (Social Security, pensions, investment income, etc.) must be less than about $2800 a month, and your other countable assets (savings and investment accounts) must be less than $2000. Married couples who are applying together have higher income and asset limits, and when one spouse is applying, the other spouse is permitted to have independent income and assets. We can provide current income and asset limitations when you call our office.

What Can You Do If You Have Too Much Money to Qualify?

If you have too much income or savings to initially qualify for Medicaid to cover nursing home care, there are legal strategies you can explore to meet the eligibility requirements. It's essential to consult with our experienced Elder Law attorneys, who can help you navigate the complexities of Medicaid planning while ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. Properly executed strategies can help you qualify for Medicaid coverage for nursing home care while protecting your assets and financial well-being.

Why Should You Get Help Filling Out the Application?

The timing of your Medicaid application is very important. You do not want to apply before you know for sure that you will be eligible, but you also don't want to wait to apply until you have spent down all of your assets. Our Medicaid Planning attorneys can assess your situation and advise you on the best time to apply for Medicaid with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. We will walk you through the application process, ensuring that you complete the forms correctly and submit the right kind of documentation.

Lisa B. Shoalmire
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Attorney And Senior Partner
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