The Hill Group
What We Do
The Hill Group is focused on practicing solely in the areas of elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, estate administration and special needs planning. We offer a premium client service experience. We pride ourselves in not only meeting your expectations, but exceeding them. We offer prompt, professional, compassionate and friendly guidance for any issue that your family is faced with. See below for a more detailed description of the problems we can solve for your family.
Unfortunately, protecting your assets is often a necessity in today’s world…
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When a family grows and ages there are many changes that occur…
When a family grows and ages there are many changes that occur…
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Can Medicaid Pay For Nursing Home Care?
Yes. Any individual in need of nursing home-level care that meets the state’s Medicaid financial requirements can have their nursing home care paid for by Medicaid.
The catch rests in the state. The requirements for finances and level of care vary depending on the state in question. Additionally, the financial requirements can change depending on the marriage status of the applicant.
Meet all the requirements, and Medicaid will cover all the costs associated with nursing home care, even if that means covering those costs for the remainder of the applicant’s life.
Keep in mind that Medicaid and Medicare are not the same programs. While Medicaid can be used to cover all costs associated with nursing home level care, Medicare only covers a percentage for a given amount of time.
It’s also important to remember that Medicaid programs can have different names depending on the state, so research has to be done before applying.
So All Nursing Homes Accept Medicaid?
Depends on the nursing home in question.
An overwhelming majority of nursing homes will accept Medicaid, but that doesn’t mean they will accept every Medicaid applicant into their facility. Nursing homes may have a limited number of bedrooms that can be used specifically for Medicaid applicants.
Think of it like applying for a job at a really well-known company or college; they’ll take all the applications, but that doesn’t mean every applicant has a spot waiting for them.
Remember that nursing homes operate as a business, so they might have to balance the number of available Medicaid beds with the private-pay beds. The difference in price can mean a great deal to the nursing home’s bottom line. According to the American Council on Aging, the 2022 nationwide average private payer pays approximately $255 a day for nursing home care while Medicaid pays approximately $206 a day.
How Does One Determine The Level Of Care Needed?
Consider the health and safety of the individual in question.
This one seems obvious, but it actually requires a deeper dive into the health considerations of the individual. It’s very simple to say a person needs nursing home level of care, but it can be a bit harder to actually determine if they meet the given state’s requirements for nursing home care.
To start, check with a state’s Medicaid organization to find the requirements an individual has to meet to qualify for nursing home level of care. Then consider the health of the individual. Would they represent a danger to themselves without nursing home level of care? Do they require assistance with medication and equipment, such as oxygen tanks or ventilators? Do they show any signs of cognitive disability? And have they displayed an inability to perform essential daily functions, such as eating and using the restroom?
If the answer to at least two of these questions is “yes,” the individual probably qualifies for nursing-home-level care.
How Does Medicaid Work?
The program works by requiring the individual to give up most of their income to Medicaid, although the individual can keep an allowance for themselves as well as a deduction to cover other medical costs.
As with other Medicaid considerations, the exact amount of the allowance can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of nursing facility in question and the living arrangements needed by the individual. Income allowances can also be considered if the individual has a spouse living elsewhere or at the facility.
Once an individual has met their state’s Medicaid eligibility requirements, Medicaid pays a fixed daily rate to the nursing home.
What Rights Does a Nursing Home Resident Have?
Many rights, including:
• The right to be free of unnecessary restraints.
• The right to be informed of any changes in treatment.
• The right to access their records and to make copies of those records at a reasonable cost.
• The right to be shown how to access those records by the facility managers.
• The right to be provided a written description of their legal rights by the facility managers.
• The right to be fully informed by the facility managers of the on-site services available and any additional costs.
• The right to privacy in all aspects of care.
• The right to move about the facility and meet with other residents without facility supervision.
• The right to manage personal finances.
• The right to be free of interference, bullying, and any reprisals in exercising their rights.
How Do I Apply For Nursing Home Care?
Start by applying for Medicaid first. This can be done online or through the state’s Medicaid office. The application process can be lengthy, requiring a great deal of supporting documentation and research. A medical assessment of the individual will also be required.
Estate planning can be a bit like renovating a bathroom: yes, it needs to get done, but it sounds so I-just-don’t-wanna boring.
Fortunately, the New Year presents a unique time to consider the kinds of details related to estate planning.
It’s common for people to start new fitness programs, learn new skills, and get a start on long-delayed goals when January 1 rolls around. The desire for self-improvement comes from taking time to reflect on the past year, which can lead to the formation of plans and strategies for new goals and challenges.
That reflection can also lead to the consideration of life changes. For example, an individual that experienced the loss of a loved one in the previous year may feel the need to create or update their estate plan; they’ve seen how unpredictable life can get, and that experience has naturally led them to consider their own plans for the future.
Likewise, perhaps one of the younger family members has started a family of their own, which could lead an individual to rethink inheritance plans. Whatever the reason, the creation or revision of an estate plan can occur at any time.
Creating and Updating a Will
For many, creating or updating an estate plan starts and ends with a last will and testament. Wills get the most attention as an estate plan option thanks to books, television, and film. Even someone with no knowledge of legal works understands the concept of a will.
For the most part, the popular notions will prove to be fairly accurate in real life. At its core, a will allows an individual to spell out exactly how their estate should be handled upon their passing. If the individual has super-specific instructions they want to be followed about asset disbursement, they can record it in their will so that the executor will understand where every asset should go.
Wills can be vital to ensure asset distribution due to probate concerns. Assets must be distributed according to the laws of their home state, and if an individual passes before creating a will, the heirs can be at the mercy of a probate process which can increase the likelihood of the assets not being received by the intended parties.
As has been illustrated in many mystery stories, one key factor about creating and updating wills rests with the individual having the ability to change the terms outlined in the will whenever they wish. In other words, none of the details listed in a will ever get carved in stone. Life changes and a will can be changed to address new circumstances.
For example, a will can be updated to reflect the acquisition or loss of property, changes in relationships, and the addition of new family members. However, the will does not represent the only option for the creation and revision of an estate plan.
Creating and Updating Power of Attorney
Think of the power of attorney like a general choosing a right-hand man who will step up and lead should anything sideline the guy in charge.
The power of attorney allows an individual to assign their decision-making power to a trusted person, similar to naming an executor of a will. Unlike wills, however, the power of attorney becomes active before the individual passes.
Should an individual become incapacitated due to illness, their estate may require management. The power of attorney allows a chosen party to enact the individual’s wishes regarding their assets, sidestepping the process of a court-appointed guardianship that may act in ways contrary to the individual’s wishes.
Updating a power of attorney allows the individual to select new custodians due to changes in relationships, allowing a real-time plan to be set based on fluctuating situations. Used in tandem with wills, the power of attorney adds another layer of security around an individual’s wishes regarding their assets. Both tools work to maintain an individual’s plans will be respected and followed in life and death.
Creating and Updating a Living Will
Sometimes referred to as the Advanced Medical Directive, a living will helps an individual to legally state their wishes regarding medical treatment.
As the name suggests, a living will applies while the individual lives and takes into consideration the desires regarding life-sustaining medical treatment. And like the power of attorney, a living will get activated when the individual suffers an event that renders them unable to make important decisions. More specifically, the living will list an individual’s wishes regarding medical treatment should they enter a state of prolonged unconsciousness, up to and including wishes regarding their final life medical decisions.
All three options grant an individual a wider range of life and asset options when creating or updating an estate plan. To learn more about the differences and usefulness of wills, power of attorney, and living will contact us today.