One significant and common mistake far too many people make these days, especially as they reach retirement age, is assuming Medicaid is going to cover their expenses should they need any type of short or long-term care. Elderly care can include a variety of locations for options, including home care, assisted living, and nursing home care.
That’s not all it covers, though, but would Medicaid truly pay some of these expenses? That’s an important question to consider, especially if you or a loved one has reached retirement age and may be facing potentially serious health issues or limited mobility in the near future.
First, will Medicaid cover elderly care any short-term care?
Yes, under certain provisions. Should an aging senior qualify for Medicaid medical coverage, they would likely qualify for some types of short-term care. This will usually be limited, though.
For example, if an elderly person suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for a couple of weeks, they may need to be moved to a nursing home for another few weeks. Medicaid may cover some of those expenses, if not all of them, for a specific and short duration of time.
But, what happens if the senior requires longer term care?
This is where many mistakes are made. A lot of seniors don’t realize this, nor do their family members, but Medicaid would often require members to use up all of their available savings and assets before this federal assistance program would kick in to cover ongoing, long-term care.
For example, if that senior who suffered a stroke would be required to spend several months in a nursing home before they could finally be discharged and sent home, but they would also require care at home for many more months, they would have to pay for that out-of-pocket first.
This is what many people are surprised to learn, often too late. It doesn’t really matter what type of services from elderly care a person might prefer or require at that stage in their life, if they have to pay for it out-of-pocket, that could be financially devastating for many people.
For some seniors, this means selling off the equity in their home, too. Medicaid may require some seniors to use up all of the equity in their house, if they own one, before it will pick up nursing home expenses.
Also, keep in mind that Medicaid may not provide reimbursement for care at home of other types of elderly care. Often, the primary form of care that Medicaid covers is nursing home care. This is due, in large part, to the fact a nursing home stay is often needed for significant medical attention.
At this point in time, Medicaid is designed to cover medical needs.
If your elderly father assumes Medicaid is going to cover any short or long-term care expenses and doesn’t think it’s necessary to look at other protection measures, like long-term care insurance, he may be in for a rude awakening. That’s not something anybody should face during their Golden Years.