In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses the benefits of keeping Medicaid supplement insurance as a nursing home resident.
Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!
One of the very common questions we get when we have a client who is in a nursing home and becomes eligible for Medicaid, is whether they should keep Medicare supplement insurance that they have that carries with it a monthly premium, or whether they should drop it, or switch to a Medicare complete plan that doesn’t have a premium. So, what should you do?
Well, in most situations, I think that the correct answer is that you should keep it and here’s why. If the person who is in the nursing home and on Medicaid is single, or widowed, they are required to contribute almost all of their income toward the nursing home bill, except for two things; number one, a monthly income allowance, $30 in Illinois, $50 in Missouri, and number two, if they have a health insurance premium, then they are able to hold money for that. So, basically, the money’s going somewhere and not staying and, if it goes for insurance, what you get is access to doctors and forms of healthcare treatment that Medicare, and a good supplement, might cover, and the Medicaid formulary, or Medicaid alone, might not. So it gives you access to better healthcare.
It can be a little bit more of a closer call in the case of a married couple, and it sort of depends on whether the money to pay for it is going to reduce the monthly income that’s otherwise available to the spouse who’s not in the nursing home. So, from a standpoint of healthcare, you want to keep it, but like the decision that some people have to make is if you have really good insurance, but can’t afford to pay the light bill, or you run out of groceries at the end of the month, that becomes a different consideration. Thanks!
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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.