Applying for Texas Medicaid Nursing home benefits offers critically important financial assistance to Texas seniors. Without this help elders requiring care would be exposed to unsafe living conditions at home. If you’re like most folks, the idea of going toe-to-toe with a government bureaucracy is intimidating. Frankly, you have good reason to be concerned.
Medicaid eligibility rules are complicated and the application system is anything but consumer friendly!
The application for benefits is lengthy and loaded with traps for the unwary. I’m not saying the government is “out to get you.” Not at all. The big issue is the massive, convoluted nature of Medicaid rules. Like driving on unfamiliar country roads at night in a storm, a wrong turn could put you in a place where you can’t find your wait out.
First, let’s look at what Medicaid is. Then I’ll give you some pointers on how to successfully navigate the application process.
There are several different Medicaid programs, each with a different set of qualifications. The program for nursing home assistance is managed under “Medicaid for the Elderly and People with Disabilities.” Through this program Texas teams up with the federal government to help pay the cost of nursing home care to qualified individuals.
The program is “means tested.” That means the applicant (and spouse, if married) must meet exacting income and asset limits to obtain benefits. But don’t misread “exacting” to mean “impossible.”
While the guidelines are fairly strict the rules provide surprising flexibility that allow both single and married applicants to protect their home and life savings. You just need to know where to look to know how to structure your assets the right way.
When you do, the benefits can be worth the effort required.
The key when applying for Medicaid is to never file an application until you know you are eligible. Timing the application is an important part of the overall strategy. Filing too soon or too late sacrifices important flexibility and could cause you to forfeit important savings opportunities.
Once the application is accepted by the Texas Department of Health and Human Service, it’s “cast in stone.” Failure to meet the guidelines before sending in the application could cost you thousands of dollars a month that Medicaid may have been willing to pay.
Why spend more than necessary?
You’re far better off arranging your assets and income in advance of the application. You have far more planning flexibility before you apply. That flexibility translates to potentially greater financial savings and far less emotional stress.
Before submitting any Medicaid application to help pay nursing home fees, call me first. You’ll find out very quickly (sometimes in minutes) whether we can save you money and heartache. After hundreds of applications on behalf of clients, my staff and I know how to make your life easier.
First you need to know how Medicaid rules will treat the type and amount of assets you own. Some assets count, others don’t. Some don’t count when the caseworker determines eligibility but could be exposed later (like your personal residence). Some count now but can be made uncountable. Knowing the rules and procedures allow you to craft a plan to protect every penny allowed under the law.
Medicaid also classifies the type of income you receive every month. Pensions, social security and investment income are considered “countable,” but other types like certain benefits from the Veteran’s Administration) are not.
If you’re married, you may be able to transfer certain types of income to your spouse. Medicaid willingly reduces the amount you have to pay every month to the nursing home, increases their share and increases the amount of money your spouse gets to keep.
But you need to know the rules.
Once your assets and income are properly aligned with Medicaid rules, it’s time to submit the application. What you provide and when you provide it are another critical part of the process. Precision is important. Applying too soon or too late could mean losing valuable benefits. So could failure to submit the right type of documentation.
The path to applying to Medicaid for help paying nursing home care is full of hidden potholes, dangerous curves and obstacles in the road. We’ve driven that road many times so we’re prepared to address and solve most problems before they happen.
I can help you apply for Texas Nursing Home Medicaid benefits. Call me today at 713-970-1300 or use my online contact form. Discover how you can get help paying for care and get peace of mind in the process.