Commonly referred to as the “graying of America”, the American population is aging at an astounding rate. In fact, estimates tell us that by the year 2050 the number of older Americans (aged 65 and older) will outnumber younger Americans (under 21) for the first time in history. Not surprisingly, this has put issues faced by the elderly to be at the forefront of both the political arena and the social conscience in the United States in recent years. Specifically, healthcare for the elderly has become a significant issue. Whether you are entering your golden years or you have an elderly loved one, covering the costs of in-home care is something you are likely to be concerned about at some point in the near future. This often leads to the question “does Medicaid pays for in-home care?”
People often think of Medicaid as a healthcare plan for children and/or for low income families only; however, Medicaid also provides coverage for a significant portion of America’s elderly. Unfortunately, many employer-sponsored health insurance plans either end when the employee reaches retirement age or become cost prohibitive for the employee to retain after retirement. Likewise, the Medicare program often falls short of covering all of a senior’s healthcare needs. Medicare, for example, does not cover the often exorbitant costs of long-term care. For all of these reasons many of America’s elderly turn to the Medicaid program.
Advances in medicine and technology now allow many older individuals to avoid commitment to a nursing home or other long-term care facility as long as the individual is able to receive in-home care. In-home care may include skilled nursing services, home health aides, and/or the use of specialized medical equipment. With the help of in-home care an individual is often able to remain in his or her own home for months, even years, longer than would be the case without in-home care. Unlike the Medicare program, Medicaid is administered at the state level, meaning that there are some differences in eligibility criteria and benefits among the states. Most of the states, including Texas, do offer in-home care as part of their Medicaid program.
If you have an elderly loved one who you believe would benefit from in-home care, but whose private health insurance coverage does not cover in-home care, it may be worthwhile to apply to the Medicaid program. It may be best, however, to consult with your estate planning attorney first to create a Medicaid plan that will ensure your loved one is approved for benefits without losing any of his or her assets.