Good health is important to everyone, but with skyrocketing medical costs and a slumping economy now is harder than ever to pay for good quality Health Care. If you can't afford to pay for medical care right now, Medicaid can help provide the resources necessary to ensure you and your family have a long and healthy life
Medicaid is a state run program for low-income individuals and families. Many groups of people can gain access to Medicaid as long as they meet certain requirements set forth by their State's Medicaid administration. Medicaid requirements can include age, whether or not you are pregnant, disabled, your financial standing or if you are a US citizen.
November 1, 2011
Senior citizens are encouraged to sign up for Medicaid to access quality health care upon retirement. Some opt for long-term and nursing home care but both can be expensive, especially for those who fall under the federal poverty line. Others are apprehensive about applying because they are worried about assets and other earnings they possess.
Do remember if you have assets and private income, you may have a hard time getting approval from Medicaid, regardless of your age or health status.
Here are tips on how you can get Medicaid without letting go of assets:
Transfer assets to your spouse.
Usually, Medicaid only allows a person to possess around $20,000 worth of assets (the limit varies for every state). Your Medicaid eligibility will depend on assets under your name. So if you want to protect your assets, you may want to transfer it to your spouse.
Transfer assets to your family.
Transfer your assets to your family within the five-year period of applying. This may seem a long time, but it’s better to start transferring assets early. Do not wait for the time you turn 70 or 75. It’s also important to do this while you’re in good shape.
If you are not able to transfer your assets within the given amount of time, Medicaid may disqualify you from membership for a certain period.
Do not fully depend on trust funds.
Do know that Medicaid considers trusts as assets. So if you have a relatively huge amount of money in your trust fund, it would be wise to transfer it to your family’s or spouse’s account/s. Transfer your assets immediately; otherwise, Medicaid might disregard your application if they find out.
Seek legal advice.
Medicaid laws vary in every state so it would help to have a lawyer assist you during the application process. Your lawyer can also help with your decisions regarding your assets and provide you with more options.
It may seem you have given up most of your assets just to get Medicaid. However, it is reassuring to have your assets and trust funds in safe hands as you secure yourself with the proper health care you need.
October 21, 2011
The Medicaid health insurance system in New York is currently offering a Family Planning Benefit Program or FPBP. The program aims to reduce unplanned pregnancies within households.
How do I become eligible for the program?
The individual, between the age of 10 and 64 with an annual income not exceeding the limit requirement, must be a legal resident of New York. As a resident, he must also possess a legal immigration status or should be a U.S. citizen.
Requirements for Application
Individuals currently covered by Medicaid can easily apply for FPBP. Those who do not have Medicaid coverage may still apply as long as they meet the income level requirements.
Actual Program Coverage
Individuals whose applications have been approved will receive a Medicaid card via mail. By presenting this card, costs of the following services will be covered:
- Initial and follow-up appointments
- Counseling services
- Pharmacy costs for FDA-approved birth control medications and devices (check if the pharmacy accepts Medicaid first)
- Birth control pills, patches, IUD’s and condoms
Coverage for these family planning services is valid for a year.
October 10, 2011
Medicaid provides many benefits to U.S. citizens below the poverty line, including individual under 20 years old. Those in this age range will qualify for Medicaid under these conditions:
Children and Teenagers
A child or teenager whose parents are under Medicaid coverage is automatically eligible. If a child’s parents do not have Medicaid, the health insurance program can still cover him/her.
Children living in nursing facilities can also automatically qualify for Medicaid. Young adults who live on their own may also be eligible to receive benefits. They just have to ask a legal guardian to apply for Medicaid on their behalf.
Disabled and Blind
Children and young adults who have disabilities that affect their income are automatically eligible for Medicaid. However, these disabilities will have to be evaluated and confirmed by the state or federal government before they can apply. A child or young adult who is blind is automatically eligible for Medicaid.
Medicaid can cover pregnant women under 20, who live on or below the federal poverty line regardless if they are single or married. Medicaid also insures the newborn child automatically.
October 3, 2011
There are around 51,340 homeless people in Los Angeles and most of them have poor health. Luckily, government agents and agencies will be able to provide health care and housing for the homeless through California’s Medicaid waiver, called the Bridge to Reform.
According to health care policy expert Michael Cousineau, this reform will put an end to poor health being the cause and effect of homelessness.
“Medicaid coverage expansion offers Los Angeles County the opportunity to secure federal investment in strategies that reduce the country’s general relief caseload while decreasing chronic homelessness,” analysts of LA Health Action, a non-profit advocacy group, say.
The Medicaid waiver will help homeless people connect with organizations who can provide permanent shelter. This will improve access to proper patient-centered health care delivery systems. This will be done in addition to the medical, mental health, inpatient, outpatient and prescription drug services that Medicaid provides for homeless people.
Sharon Rapport, Associate Director of the California Policy Corporation for Supportive Housing, hopes that state counties will also take advantage of several options offered by the Affordable Care Act, such as Health Homes for Enrollees with Chronic Conditions. This program offers health home services in supportive housing.
“They really need someone to hold their hand to help them find assistance,” Rapport said.
September 28, 2011
The number of uninsured Americans has already reached 50 million. But this figure could have been higher if it weren’t for the improved access to the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Of the 50 million uninsured Americans, 41.7 million are adults without children. This is partly because they aren’t eligible for public health coverage or assistance in 26 states. According to a report submitted by Kaiser, only seven states provide full Medicaid coverage to childless adults.
More facts and figures
The current Medicaid program excludes individuals under the age of 65 with no dependent children from health insurance coverage. Medicaid covers individuals and families with an income at or below 133% of the federal poverty line for an individual ($14,483.70) to a family of four ($29,725.50).
All states continue to maintain and improve both health insurance programs despite state budget cuts and a higher enrollment percentage.
With that, many children were able to benefit from the state implementations for Medicaid and CHIP application. Twenty states expanded eligibility qualifications for children. Fourteen states no longer require face-to-face interviews for children and some leniently allowed them to be eligible for a year’s worth of Medicaid benefits.
For children: Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Wisconsin
For pregnant women: Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Wisconsin
For parents and other adults: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Oregon
STREAMLINED ENROLLMENTS OR RENEWALS
For children: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, West Virginia
For pregnant women: Connecticut
For parents and other adults: Colorado, Nebraska, New York
By 2014, millions of adults will be insured once health reform expands Medicaid eligibility to 133% of the federal property level and restructures health coverage based on income.
Individuals and families with an income ranging from 133 to 400% of the federal poverty line are not left out. Their insurance coverage will be in the form of state-based health insurance exchanges. If a patient is qualified, he or she becomes eligible for premium or cost-sharing assistance for private insurance programs.
September 27, 2011
People under the disability program offered by Medicaid in Florida may also have access to Medicaid’s transportation service. Medicaid provides medical transportation to their recipients by bringing them to and from medical appointments.
Here is how you can set an appointment with a transportation provider who accepts Medicaid payments:
- Get in touch with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (888-419-3456) and check if the medical transportation benefit is covered by your specific Medicaid policy.
- Contact the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD). Do ask for a list of medical transportation providers in your city that accept Medicaid. Inform the CTD office about your special needs (e.g. wheelchair lift).You may contact the CTD at (866) 374-3368, Ext. 5700.
- Provide the necessary information. Enroll in the services of the medical transportation company of your choice. You will be asked to provide your Medicaid number and other personal information that will verify your eligibility for this service. This will also make the application process faster.
- Get in touch with the medical transportation company of your choice. Make sure to give them a call at least 72 hours before your scheduled appointment. On the day of the appointment, you must be ready to leave at least an hour before your schedule (depending on your appointment location). The designated driver is not obligated to wait for you for more than 10 minutes at your pickup location.
However, during times of medical emergency, do take note that calling 911 is more advisable.
September 23, 2011
One point of eligibility for Medicaid is that applicants must not have assets worth more than $2,000. Assets include individual retirement accounts, stocks, checking and savings accounts, cash on hand, vehicles and residence/s.
If money has become too tight and you are in desperate need of financial health assistance, you might want to consider transferring some of your assets. This is an option provided by Medicaid. However, certain penalties may apply.
Here’s how you can transfer the title of your property in order to become eligible for Medicaid.
- Gather all your assets. Compute the cash value of all your existing assets and subtract $2,000 or $3,000 (if you’re married) from it. The difference will be the amount of property you have to transfer.
- Select the ones you really need. Since you will have to dispose some of your properties to be eligible for Medicaid, you have to determine the assets you need the most. Think about those you can live without and properties you think you’ll still need in the future.
- Process the transfer. Dispose of the properties at fair-market value and use the money you get to pay for other necessary expenses such as past-due medical expenses, prescription drugs and medical supplies you currently need. Keep the receipts and other documentation so you have evidence of how your assets were sold and how your cash was spent.
- Turn them in. Submit all documents to your local Medicaid office. There is usually a waiting period of 60 days before they consider your application. But if you are currently under the resource and asset limit, you may not have to wait. Your local Medicaid office will review all the documents. The processing your application will depend on the results of their evaluation.
Certain conditions are considered when applying for disability benefits. The most important aspect is knowing what makes a person “disabled.”
Here are qualifications that make a person disabled. These determine a person’s eligibility for Medicaid Disability benefits.
- Condition is severely limiting. To be considered disabled, your medical condition must significantly limit basic activities such as walking, sitting and even remembering for at least a year.
The state Medicaid agency has a List of Impairments, which includes medical conditions that automatically classify you as disabled. If your medical condition is not on the list, the agency will check if the severity of your condition is similar to that of a listed impairment.
- You are not part of the workforce. People who are not working or those whose monthly income does not exceed the government-set income limit will be checked for their medical condition.
- You are incapable of performing tasks you used to do. If the state agency sees that you are incapable of doing old tasks, they will consider you for Medicaid Disability Benefits and can even help you find another type of work.
- You have difficulty in doing certain types of work. State agencies help you find another type of work that matches your abilities. You will then be evaluated according to how well you’ve done the tasks. If you still cannot work properly due to your medical condition, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
If you are a recipient of Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, and will be moving to Florida, you should apply for Florida Medicaid immediately.
Switching Medicaid accounts can be risky. Take note of the following instructions:
- Inform your Medi-Cal case manager in California about your plans. This will make it easier to work on closing your current Medicaid case. However, you will still be getting Medi-Cal coverage until the last day of the month of your transfer.
- Provide the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) office in the county you’ll be moving to with information on your transfer. Request for an application form for their Medicaid Program or fill out an application form at the DCF’s official website: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/
- Prepare copies of all government-issued IDs you have, birth certificates, proof of income, list of assets (such as cars, boats, stocks, etc.) and proof of lease. You will be presenting these when you arrive in Florida.
- Once you settle in your new home, file your application and submit the necessary documents at the DCF office you contacted and schedule an interview.
- During the interview, you will be asked about your income, assets, debts and living situation. This will help your potential case manager determine your eligibility for Florida Medicaid. You will be updated regarding your application within 30 days from the day you were interviewed.