In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses the differences between Illinois and Missouri for Medicaid.
Today I want to talk about a question that I think is probably funneled more often to me than anyone in the area because I think I’m the only lawyer who very actively practices elder law in both Illinois and Missouri, and that is: Are you better to file for Medicaid assistance for long-term care in Illinois or in Missouri?
The first thing I want to talk about is that, in fact, you do have that choice. Medicaid is primarily a federal program. There is what’s known as a constitutional right to travel. So if you are in a state. even in a facility, and you’re going to be there indefinitely with the intention to remain there, you can apply for Medicaid in that state. So, with the choice, which is better? Well, let’s talk about what type of care you need.
If you want help in paying for home care, Missouri is the choice because they have a pilot program that allows benefits to help pay for home care. Now, there are some limits to that. You have to be in bad enough shape that medically you would meet the standard for needing nursing home care. The amount of benefits is less than what it would cost for your nursing home care, and the care has to be provided by a provider that’s on a list of approved providers that the state maintains. But, if you have somebody who for instance would like to stay at home, has some family help, but not 24/7 family help, that can be a good option.
If you’re looking for assisted living care, then you’re not looking to Missouri because it’s Medicaid program doesn’t pay for it. Illinois does in a limited number of facilities that are participating in what’s called the Supportive Living Program. There are several of those facilities on the Illinois side of the Metro East, and so if you have someone that needs assisted living care, Illinois might be the best option.
For nursing home care, honest answer is: It depends on your individual circumstances. In some respects, Missouri law is more favorable. In other respects, Illinois is more favorable. Especially within St. Louis county, you’re more likely to face a wait for a Medicaid bed in a facility of your choice. That’s less likely to be the case in Illinois. But, if you have someone where that is a decision, say you have somebody who has adult children who live in Missouri and some who live in Illinois, and we get that quite a bit, come talk to me because we can shed some light on that as it relates to your particular situation.
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.