Medicaid is widely known but often misconstrued. With laws and regulations constantly changing, there is a possibility that you’ve heard incorrect or outdated information along the way. We’re here to help debunk some of the most common misconceptions about Medicaid eligibility, but first let’s cover a few of the basics.

What Is Medicaid?

Medicaid provides health coverage to low income families, disabled adults, and nursing home residents.

Who is Eligible for Medicaid?

Medicaid Eligibility varies from group to group. You can find the full list of eligibility requirements on the Alabama Medicaid website.

Myth #1: You cannot use Medicaid and Medicare simultaneously

False. Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage primarily for those over the age of 65. Medicaid is a federal and state program that provides health coverage to low income people, and those with disabilities. If you qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare, then you can use both.

Myth #2: Medicaid is a lot like Medicare

While Medicaid and Medicare can be similar, they are also very different. For instance, Medicare will only pay for 100 days of long-term care in a nursing home, while Medicaid will pay indefinitely for long-term care for recipients. Nursing home care in Alabama can cost around $70,000/year, so it’s important to plan ahead.

Myth #3: You can only apply for Medicaid if you are going to long-term care.

Did you learn to dial 9-1-1 after an emergency or before? If you have the proper Medicaid qualifications, then apply ASAP. It’s much easier to have Medicaid and not need it, than to need Medicaid and not have it.

Myth #4: Only lower income individuals are Medicaid qualified.

While it is true that Medicaid qualifications do have income restrictions, including Alabama Medicaid planning as part of your estate plan can be extremely beneficial. By planning ahead, it’s possible to use asset protection strategies to safeguard your estate.

Myth #5: Medicaid only looks at the individual’s income, so you can give away your assets to your spouse or kids.

Medicaid caseworkers will review all income, assets and financial records of both you and your spouse going back 60-months prior to the date on your application. Giving away assets or property in that 60-month period may tie up your application and cause penalties that can prevent you from getting the care you need.

Don’t let long-term care issues give you a sudden and unpleasant surprise. Know where you stand now, and how to plan for the future.  At Miller Estate and Elder Law, we have helped many families with both advanced planning and crisis planning. Give us a call at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient contact form below to reach out to our legal team today.