Need Assistance with Medicare or Medicaid Planning?
Who Qualifies for Medicare and Medicaid?
When planning for your retirement and future, you should take into account whether or not you will need to sign up for Medicare or Medicaid (which is called MassHealth in Massachusetts). Regardless of your age, your health needs to rank highly on your list of priorities, especially if you have special needs or pre-existing conditions. However, the application process to either program can be confusing and intimidating. If you are rejected at first, the appeals process can be even more perplexing and often take some time to play out.
However, a North Shore Medicare attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and guide you through the complicated applications process and appeals process if it becomes necessary. The Law Office of Brandon L. Campbell has been helping senior citizens qualify and apply for Medicare and Medicaid for over 16 years. Brandon resides in Beverly and serves clients there and all across the Massachusetts North Shore and surrounding areas. As a Beverly Medicare attorney, he advocates for seniors and those with mental illnesses to see that they receive the care they need through the healthcare system.
Who Qualifies for Medicare and Medicaid?
It is important to understand the differences between Medicare and Medicaid and understand that they are two different programs. They have different objectives, qualifications and work differently as well. Qualifying for one does not mean you will qualify for the other.
- Medicare – This is a national health insurance administered by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services of the US federal government. It provides health insurance for US citizens aged 65 and older as well as some younger people with disability status determined by the Social Security Administration and those with end stage renal disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Medicare Part A covers hospital and hospice services. Medicare Part B covers outpatient services.
- Medicaid – This is a joint national/state program that pays for healthcare for individuals that meet certain income and asset guidelines. These guidelines, along with the medical requirements, can differ from state to state. If you move to a new state, you have to apply for Medicaid there, as the requirements will be different.
- MassHealth – The Medicaid program for the state of Massachusetts is called MassHealth. The medical requirements depend upon how much assistance you need with daily activities. The financial requirements for MassHealth tend to be more stringent. For long-term care eligibility, for example, whether married or single, you can only have $2000 in countable assets in your name. If married and your spouse plans to continue living in the community, your spouse can keep up to $109,560 in their name. If you have more assets than this, then you will be required to spend them down, probably mostly on healthcare costs, in order to qualify.
How Can Financial Planning Help Elders with Medicare or Medicaid?
Financial planning, especially estate planning and asset protection, should be taken care of well before you have to apply for Medicare or Medicaid (again, called MassHealth in Massachusetts). That way, you will have the financial requirements squared away so that you can meet the health requirements and receive the care you need. You will not have to run into problems with the appeals process or having to spend down your assets, as you will have been prepared for this beforehand.
When applying to MassHealth, the program has the right to examine your bank and financial records for the past five years. If they discover a transfer of assets in that time period, they can disqualify your eligibility. Needless to say, this would add further complications and delays to the application process that you would rather avoid with proper financial planning. Speak with a Beverly and North Shore Medicaid attorney to understand more about financial planning and how it can help your application for Medicare or Medicaid.
Questions? Call a North Shore Medicare Attorney Now
Planning for your future and retirement does not need to be intimidating. Contact the Law Office of Brandon L. Campbell to see how we can help you with estate planning, asset protection and financial planning. Doing so will make applying for Medicare or Medicaid (MassHealth) easier down the line.
Call us for a free consultation at (978) 745-5551 or contact us online.