There are many myths about Medicaid, more than any other program affecting seniors today.
Medicare will pay for the nursing home. Medicare does not pay for long term
care at the nursing home.
Medicare consists of four parts: A, B, C, and D and is offered to those who
are at least 65 years old, less than 65 years old and disabled, or in end-stage
renal failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Medicare Part A pays for hospital stays, some home health care for
rehabilitation services, and inpatient rehabilitation services. There is no
monthly premium for Part A as these services are covered by payments made
through your lifetime payroll taxes.
Medicare Part B covers physician’s services, X-rays, tests, dialysis, and
various other items. There is a monthly premium for Part B and an annual
Part C (or Medicare Advantage Plans) are customized to meet your own medical
needs and may be coupled with private insurance.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs and requires a monthly premium and
Medicaid pays for long term care but you have to qualify for the program. The
Medicaid rules and regulations are found in the Maryland Medicaid Manual and
eligibility is determined by the local Department of Social Services.
Usually, Medicaid is for seniors, who are over the age of 65 and may need
Basically, in order to be eligible for Medicaid long-term care assistance, there
are number of qualification, you must be:
- A Maryland resident at the time the application is
- Blind, disabled or otherwise in need medically or
cannot perform at least two activities of daily living;
- Limited income.
- Have limited resources. The eligibility amount, for a
single person is $2,500. However, there are exclusions for a married couple
such as a personal vehicle, the personal residence, etc.
Most applicants who apply for Medicaid meet the first three tests without a
problem. However, limited resources are where the potential hazards occur, if
you are doing the application by yourself. Spousal protections, including the personal
residence and the minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (the MMMNA) and
the five-year gifting and transferring “look-back” rule, which comes into play are
major issues that you should seek help from an elder law attorney. Otherwise,
you may not qualify for Medicaid, and the nursing costing $10,000 per month
quickly can eat up your life time of savings.