5 COMMON MISTAKES WHEN APPLYING FOR MEDICAID
The top resource for those looking to cover the cost of long term care is Medicaid. This program provides for several different types of care, including help in your home, assisted living center care, or nursing home care. Many families waste tens of thousands of dollars by not understanding or applying for these programs. Even if you have money, you may qualify IF you do not make any of the following mistakes.
MAKING AN IMPROPER GIFT
Many families make gifts to their loved ones throughout their life. When applying for Medicaid, all gifts you made over the prior 5 years are reviewed. Unless returned, these gifts will trigger a penalty and disqualify you from Medicaid for a time period that varies based on the value of the gifts. Many families mistakenly believe that the gift tax exclusion amount of $14,000 per person, per year is acceptable, but unfortunately even a single gift of this size could disqualify a person for at least three months.
APPLYING FOR THE WRONG MEDICAID PROGRAM
Medicaid has several different programs and separate applications for each program. In addition, each program has separate eligibility requirements. As you can imagine Medicaid is very strict and must receive the correct application with the correct information. if anything is incorrect, your application will be denied.
APPLYING AT THE WRONG TIME
Often a family will wait until a healthcare provider tells them to apply for Medicaid or until the family is completely out of money. This is risky because if you run out of moeny and get denied, then your family might have to chip in to help cover the cost of care. The fact is, there are several Medicaid programs that will help your family even when you still have money. These programs help your money last longer. Even if you do not think you will need long term care for years, or you have money to pay for your long term care, it is still important to get sound advice from an expert regarding the best time to apply.
MISUNDERSTANDING ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
All of Medicaid’s long term care programs have different requirements. They look at the applicant’s health, assets, income,a and age before they approve or deny the application. The rules are so many and varied that Medicaid employees have been known to incorrectly deny an application because they misunderstood their own rules. The way the information is presented in the application can make all the difference in being approved or denied.
TAKING ADVICE FROM THE WRONG SOURCE
Everyone seems to be a Medicaid expert. You could ask four different people if you qualify for Medicaid and get four different responses. The nursing home or hospital will tell you one thing, a Medicaid employee will tell you another, and your neightbor will for sure share their opinion. The fact is, there are only two certified Medicaid planners in the entire state of Utah. Meaning there are really only two people that have been properly trained and tested to give accurate and reliable advice about how to qualify for Medicaid—everyone else is just a self-professed expert. Do not take just anyone’s word for i; make sure to ask a real expert what you should do.