Start with the basics
Medicaid is a confusing and headache-inducing topic. As much as you’d like to avoid it, it’s wise to get the basics now. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck figuring things out in a panic if your older adult needs to find a way to pay for care immediately.
Medicaid explained in plain language
Our friend Anne Tumlinson is an expert who’s been in the field of aging services in Washington, DC for over 20 years. She’s also the founder of Daughterhood, a website that supports women who are caring for aging parents.
Because Medicaid affects so many caregivers and older adults, Anne recently wrote an article explaining 5 common misconceptions in plain language.
5 Medicaid misconceptions caregivers need to know about
Here’s a quick summary of key points from Anne’s article.
1. Medicaid is a lot like Medicare
Nope, they’re totally different and separate programs. Everyone can get Medicare, but not everyone can get Medicaid. Medicare covers doctors and hospitals while Medicaid covers long term care. And, it’s possible to be covered by both programs at the same time.
2. Medicaid is available to everyone
Unfortunately not. There’s a qualification process to get Medicaid coverage. Qualifying is complicated of course, but you could boil it down to having very little money and high care needs.
3. Medicaid will take your parents’ home
No, this isn’t always true. But it’s a complex topic with a lot of “it depends” situations – get the basics about Medicaid recovery here. To understand your family’s specific situation, Anne advises speaking with a lawyer or, if you can’t afford one, getting advice from the experts at SHIP.
4. Medicaid is a national program that’s the same for everyone
Not true. Medicaid is actually run by states (with some federal money), so the rules are different depending on where your older adult lives.
5. Medicaid only covers nursing homes
Surprise! In some states, Medicaid will cover home and community based services. That means that seniors in those areas could receive long term care in their own homes.
Medicaid is complicated and messy. But it could also be an important lifeline for your older adult if they’re no longer able to pay for the long term care they need. Knowing the basics helps you plan ahead and make more informed decisions.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Quotes Fans