Regardless of good genes and a healthy lifestyle, we all succumb to the natural aging process eventually. For many of us, that means our healthcare expenses increase during our “Golden Years.” Although most seniors rely on Medicare to cover basic healthcare expenses, not everyone qualifies for Medicare and Medicare doesn’t cover all healthcare expenses. Consequently, there is a good chance that you (or a spouse) will need help paying for healthcare expenses as a senior. Medicaid may be able to help if you qualify for a Medicaid program. With that in mind, the Indianapolis Medicaid planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft discuss what seniors need to know about Medicaid in Indiana.
Why Might I Need to Qualify for Medicaid as a Senior?
During your working years, you may have enjoyed health insurance coverage paid for entirely or partially by your employer or you may have paid for your own private health insurance coverage. When you entered your retirement years, however, that coverage likely terminated. For many people, that is when Medicare coverage takes over, but not everyone qualifies for Medicare. Some seniors do not have the work credits on their work history or that of a spouse to qualify for Medicare. For seniors who do qualify for Medicare, they may find out at some point that Medicare does not cover expenses related to long-term care (LTC). At an average monthly cost of almost $9,000 in Indianapolis, covering LTC expenses out of pocket can quickly drain a retirement nest egg. For any senior in need of help covering healthcare expenses, Medicaid may be a viable option.
Medicaid Programs for Seniors in Indiana
Seniors in Indiana may qualify for traditional Medicaid or for Hoosier Care Connect. Traditional Medicaid is a fee-for-service (FFS) healthcare program that provides benefits to low-income recipients who are over age 65 or disabled. With traditional Medicaid you may be eligible for home- and community-based services, nursing home care, or care in an intermediate care facility. You can be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Hoosier Care Connect is a managed care program for people who are aged 65 years and older, blind, or disabled and who are also not eligible for Medicare. If you qualify for Hoosier Care Connect you will choose Anthem, Managed Health Services, or United Healthcare as your service provider.
Do I Qualify for Senior Medicaid in Indiana?
The eligibility criteria that you must meet to qualify for senior Medicaid in Indiana will depend on your circumstances and the Medicaid program to which you are applying. In general, however, both your income and the value of your assets will be considered when determining eligibility. For example, as a single individual applying for traditional Medicaid your income cannot exceed $1,215 per month. If you are applying for nursing home Medicaid, however, your income cannot exceed $2,742 per month. The asset limit is usually $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a married couple unless you are applying for nursing home Medicaid and your spouse remains in the community. In that case, your “community” spouse may retain assets valued at up to $148,620 as of 2023.
What may be the most important thing for seniors to understand about Medicaid in Indiana is that Medicaid uses a “look-back” period when assessing an application. This rule allows Medicaid to consider assets transfers by an applicant made for less than fair market value during the 60-month period leading up to the application date. If the applicant made any qualifying asset transfers, it may trigger a waiting period before the applicant is eligible for Medicaid benefits. This is one of the many reasons why you should talk to your estate planning attorney about including a Medicaid planning component in your estate plan.
Contact Indianapolis Medicaid Planning Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about what seniors need to know about Medicaid in Indiana, contact the experienced Indianapolis Medicaid planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.
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