A Medicaid planning attorney can provide you with help making sure you can get access to means-tested benefits in case you require expensive medical care you have no other way to pay for. Medicaid is often considered an insurer of last resort. It’s health coverage provided through the government for low-income individuals and many seniors with limited means also rely upon it to cover the costs of nursing home care as they get older.
Because the program is means-tested however, it can sometimes be hard for seniors to become eligible to get their nursing home costs covered since many seniors have built up a nest egg. A medicaid attorney at Frank & Kraft can help seniors to make a plan to protect wealth and get covered.
Getting Medicaid to provide necessary coverage and healthcare services can actually be difficult for people of all ages and for people receiving all different kinds of services under the broader category of Medicaid benefits. In fact, Indy Star recently reported that while Medicaid is life-saving, many patients find it frustrating to navigate the program and it’s requirements.
Medicaid is Lifesaving — but Patients Complain About the Complexity
According to Indy Star, many people who rely on Medicaid coverage in Indiana don’t get traditional Medicaid benefits. Instead, Indiana has an alternative Medicaid program called the Healthy Indiana Program, or HIP 2.0.
HIP 2.0 provides healthcare services to more than 400,000 people in the state and as Indy Star explains, the program is enthusiastically supported by insurance companies that offer Medicaid plans as well as by hospitals in the state. Many groups that had urged Indiana to adopt Medicaid expansions made possible by Obamacare also tout the benefits of HIP 2.0, and some patients even credit the program with saving their lives. One HIP 2.0 recipient, for example, commented “If it wasn’t for HIP 2.0, I would be dead,” on the website of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
The Health and Services Department was collecting public comments in an effort to determine whether or not to approve Indiana’s request to continue HIP 2.0. HIP 2.0 has been touted as a model for other states to follow when it comes to providing care for an expanded population of people with relatively low incomes, but the comments also show that not everyone is in favor of the way that the program was operated.
In fact, while there were undeniably many positive comments left on the HHS Web site, there were also many complaints submitted as well. Some of those complaints come from participants who allege that the program is too complicated for them to navigate. Other complaints argue that HIP 2.0 is not as effective in providing for patient care as traditional Medicaid is, and claim that HIP 2.0 has not proven that patients become better healthcare consumers as a result of the consumer-driven provisions that HIP 2.0 includes.
The HIP 2.0 program works differently than Medicaid in most other states for those who are covered by it. Those who participate must pay as much as two percent of income into a monthly Personal Wellness and Responsibility Account and this account helps to pay for the costs associated with their medical care. The goal is to encourage efficiency, such as seeking preventative care and comparison shopping among healthcare providers, and patients who fail to pay their 2 percent are either locked out of the system or have their benefits reduced and their other costs – like copays – increased.
Some believe this makes the program too complex for people who struggle to understand the tiered coverage structure and who don’t know what different components of HIP 2.0 do.
Getting Help from a Medicaid Planning Attorney
While many people who try to navigate the Medicaid program will have to figure the system out on their own, those who want to make sure they can get covered as seniors should not try to handle this issue Do-it-Yourself. Making a plan to protect assets and qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage is difficult but vital if you don’t want to lose out on the chance to leave your desired legacy.
A Medicaid planning attorney at Frank & Kraft can provide help if you are getting older, are concerned you will need nursing home care, and want to make sure that Medicaid can pay for it. To find out more about how our firm can help you with legal and financial issues related to Medicaid, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online today.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.
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