Medicaid is the only government program that pays for long-term care, and should not be confused with Medicare. Medicare is health insurance that you are entitled to at age 65; Medicare has very limited, short-term benefits to pay for institutional skilled care. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a means-based government benefit that pays for skilled nursing care. In order to qualify for Medicaid, you must meet Federal and State guidelines as to wealth (or, more accurately, the lack of it).
In applying for Medicaid, the applicant must disclose all of the applicant’s (and spouse’s, if applicable) income and assets to the MedQUEST Division of the Department of Human Services, State of Hawaii. Certain assets count and certain assets do not count as part of your wealth. There is also an income test that must be met in order to qualify. The timing of the application and the disclosures that are made are crucial.
We can help you apply for government benefits for the Medicaid institutional care program. Medicaid is a Federal program that is administered under State law, and the Medicaid rules change from time to time. We understand Hawaii’s Medicaid law and can assist you in creating plans to prevent you from losing your life savings to nursing home care.
Do not wait for a crisis to discuss Medicaid planning. There is a five-year look-back period to see if you have given away your assets, and the rules for Medicaid are quite harsh. Knowing your options will allow you to make informed decisions about your future.