3 Common Medicaid Mistakes
There are three main mistakes relating to Medicaid that people often make. Many times, avoiding these simple mistakes can help you save a ton of money.
The Federal government provides Medicaid financial assistance to individuals who lack the money/assets/income to pay for their long-term care by paying around 50% – 80% of the costs for the NJ Medicaid program, with the state picking up the remainder of the bill.
While both the Federal government and New Jersey are almost broke as a result of reckless spending over the past decades, one of the places the government may seek to cut funding includes Medicaid. Some view Medicaid as a benefit many families don’t benefit from or need. Not so. Many average, middle, and even upper-income families with an aging and declining family member often need Medicaid assistance. To these families, Medicaid is a necessity, not a simple benefit they can do without.
Medicaid covers 50% of the nursing home costs in the United States, as very few families have $12,000(+) per month to spend on long-term care for a family member. Further complicating things is the fact that Medicare does not cover most nursing home costs, leaving Medicaid as the main contributor to pay for such care.
Medicaid rules are extremely complicated. Very few professionals actually know the rules pertaining to Medicaid Eligibility. Just as a tax expert knows the ins and outs of the tax code and how to keep your taxes as low as possible, the same applies to Medicaid. At Hanlon Niemann & Wright, our Medicaid and Elder Care professionals are focused on Elder care, Medicaid, VA benefits, estate planning, and disability laws. We are aware of the regulations and laws that help our clients save money and protect them from going broke and/or spending more than is necessary when applying to Medicaid. We can help you navigate your way through the Medicaid maze while protecting your finances and assets.
The Three Biggest Mistakes in Alzheimer’s Care
Mistake #1 – Allowing a Nursing Home Employee, Non-Lawyer Medicaid Application Company or State Medicaid Employee Complete Your Medicaid Application
Unfortunately, many families make the mistake of assuming people who work with Medicaid patients are trained to complete applications properly. This misconception results in families losing money, often a lot of money. You need a trained, qualified guide that has experience with Medicaid to ensure you qualify. Don’t fall victim to government eligibility traps by rushing to the state Medicaid office and quickly filling out a form. The state knows they can lock you in. Please see me before filling out any Medicaid form(s). I can advise you of the best way to qualify for Medicaid while protecting your hard-earned finances. Don’t let the state take advantage of your lack of knowledge by having you fill out a form that you don’t even know about.
Mistake #2 – Listening to Advice from Unqualified Individuals and Medicaid Application Companies Recommended by the Nursing Home or Assisted Living Residence
Medicaid seems to be one of those subjects that almost everyone claims to know something about. You may have heard something (along the lines of), “Don’t even bother applying for Medicaid now, because they will look back on your finances five years and you definitely won’t qualify.” While Medicaid does have a five-year look back period, this doesn’t always preclude you from applying and qualifying. Don’t automatically assume there is nothing you can do to help your family pay for long-term care of a loved one.
Always inquire as to the qualifications of the person advising you on Medicaid. Too many times I have heard from clients that have received assistance from someone when filling out their forms only to find out later that their advisor has no experience in the matter or is in conspiracy with the nursing home and financially benefits by their association with the nursing home. At Hanlon Niemann & Wright, our Elder Law Attorneys have experience in Medicaid rules and represent clients every day when applying for Medicaid. We ethically serve you and only you, not the nursing home and its owners.
Not that everyone giving you bad advice is out to scam you. Most times people giving advice have the best of intentions. This includes lawyers, accountants, some staff members at the nursing home, social workers, and even Medicaid employees themselves. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t always translate into good advice. The best possible resource is a qualified elder law attorney that has knowledge and experience in both New Jersey and Federal Medicaid rules.
Applying the law to your specific medical and financial situation, we will figure out your best options and opportunity. This is what we do at Hanlon Niemann & Wright. We deal with clients every day of every week who hire us to assist them in their Elder Care journey. Allow us to deal with the County Board of Social Services and the State of NJ so you don’t have to. While we can’t promise you everything, we can show you how our legal services may save you money. If we can’t help you, we will tell you that as well. We are here to help guide you in the right direction.
Mistake #3 – Attempting to Deal with Medicaid Yourself
Dealing with the State is an intimidating and frightening experience. This can place a significant burden on everyone’s shoulders. Let us lighten the load. You already have enough to deal with caring for your loved one. We will sit down and communicate with Medicaid officials and discuss your situation, so you don’t have to. Since we are aware of the rules and regulations, we can answer their questions correctly and advocate for your rights. If we give you advice on saving money and/or protecting your finances, we highlight this advice in our discussions with the Medicaid caseworkers.
Don’t make a crucial mistake that can cost you money. I understand this is a difficult period in your life. Allow me to take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Please contact me, Fredrick P. Niemann, toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am very approachable, caring, easy to talk to, and have experience in Medicaid matters. Please allow me the opportunity to assist you. I welcome all your inquiries.
Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, A New Jersey Alzheimer’s and Dementia Attorney