If you have a senior who is either being cared for at home or is living in a senior living facility and may eventually need to apply for Medicaid there are some things you should know. One of them is that what you spend money on in the five years prior to applying for Medicaid is important. If you give money away to family in any way it can cause a delay in your Medicaid benefit being approved.
One of the things that Medicaid allows you to spend money on without any penalty is planning a funeral. So it is very wise for family members to consider this and perhaps purchase a pre-planned funeral. You purchase all funeral needs and pay for it now. It guarantees everything and no price changes can occur. This will protect family members from having to incur the expense of a funeral which can easily run over $12,000. It also allows peace of mine to know it is already taken care of long before you need it. What is most important here is that Medicaid allows this expense and you will be given a document from the funeral home showing what you purchased and it can be used in your application for Medicaid. We often do not think about these expenses until we get there and the financial burden can be huge for family left behind.
I have previously talked about something called the five year look back which is required when someone applies for Medicaid. It means that they will look back at all the spending the person applying has done over the past five years. If any money was given to someone or any items were purchased for them, Medicaid can delay covering you until that amount spent is paid back. It either needs to be put back into the seniors account by someone or family may have to cover that amount of care expense before the Medicaid money kicks in.
Example: Mom gave you $10,000 so you could buy a house. Medicaid says mom has to get that $10,000 back or pay an extra $10,000 before the medicaid money will kick in. It is VERY important for families to be thinking about these things way ahead of when it might be an issue. We often do not know when we may suddenly need senior care and when we may go through all our money paying for it and then need Medicaid.
Please look for more Medicaid information in the printable tab of the website.