An Indianapolis Medicaid lawyer helps seniors to make sure they can qualify to get covered by Medicaid if they require nursing home care or other costly care that Medicare will not pay for. Millions of seniors rely on Medicaid to cover nursing home care costs, and Frank & Kraft provides help to those who want to plan ahead and make sure they can get Medicaid coverage as a senior, without first having to spend all of their personal wealth on nursing home care in order to qualify for means-tested benefits.
Unfortunately, seniors in the future could potentially face more limitations on Medicaid benefits, as healthcare reform efforts could result in changes to the Medicaid program. Any future modifications to Medicaid are not a sure thing as legislation is still being developed, but there is the potential that healthcare reform efforts could result in cuts to federal funding for the Medicaid program.
Will Medicaid be Changed by Healthcare Reform?
According to Motley Fool, six million Medicaid beneficiaries are senior citizens aged 65 and older. A big part of the reason why there are so many senior Medicaid beneficiaries is because Medicaid pays for long-term care that other insurance providers, including Medicare, will not pay for.
Approximately 70% of seniors will require long-term care services in a nursing home or in their own home, and average costs can total $38,515 for a home care aide and $82,608 for a nursing home, based on national averages. Since these costs are far too high for most seniors to pay for independently, it should come as no surprise that Medicaid spends 30 percent of its total budget on long-term care and nursing home care costs.
Currently, Medicaid gets its funding through a partnership between the states and the federal government. The federal government pays a portion of the actual cost of insuring all eligible Medicaid beneficiaries. Since the federal contribution is based on actual costs, state Medicaid programs can afford to offer reasonably generous benefits to those who are eligible for coverage, including seniors who need long term care services that cost thousands of dollars monthly.
However, healthcare reform proposals would make changes to Medicaid, including modifying the way in which the Medicaid program is funded by the federal government. Health reform bills would change the federal contribution to a funding formula which is based both on the number of people enrolled in Medicaid and a capped “growth rate.”
It is this capped growth rate, which would be used to determine the amount the federal government contributes per employee, which could result in big changes to Medicaid’s federal funding. The federal government would no longer be providing money based on actual costs, and this would lead to funding shortfalls when actual spending exceeds the increase in federal spending allowable under the growth rate formula.
The cuts could amount to billions of dollars less in federal spending on Medicaid. In fact, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that $374 billion in Medicaid expenditures would be shifted from the federal government to the state government. With many states already facing budget shortfalls, a dramatic shift in funding responsibility could potentially result in states cutting benefits or making it more difficult to obtain coverage.
It remains unclear if health reform proposals will end up becoming law. However, if changes to Medicaid do occur, it will be vitally important for seniors and for those who are getting older to understand how any changes to the Medicaid program could impact their ability to get vital long-term care and nursing home care coverage that only Medicaid can provide.
Getting Help from An Indianapolis Medicaid Lawyer
An Indianapolis Medicaid lawyer at Frank & Kraft can provide personalized one-on-one assistance to those who are concerned that they may one day require nursing home care or long term care. Anyone could end up needing care as they get older, so it makes sense to take action while you still can to ensure that Medicaid will pay for your care when you need it. The sooner you act, the more of your assets you can protect while ensuring that you are able to qualify for benefits.
Our attorneys will not only help you to make appropriate plans under the current law but will also assist you in making certain that you make any necessary adjustments to protect your access to benefits if Medicaid changes take place. To find out more about the ways in which our legal team can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online to get personalized help with the Medicaid planning process.
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.