1. Gather all important financial information as well as important documents
When applying for Medicaid, there are a few documents that you will inevitably have to submit. To stay ahead of the process, start working with your loved one, to gather up all the important information you have and to make a list that includes: Bank accounts checking/savings account balance, 5 years of bank statements, IRA’s, Life Insurance Policies, Pension Statements, Social Security Awards Letter, Driver’s License, Marriage Certificates, Deeds, etc… Having this info on hand will save you time, stress, and gives you a clearer financial picture.
2. Keep Medicaid, on a need-to-know basis
When it comes to submitting your application for Medicaid, one common mistake, is that people will tend to provide more information then needed to Medicaid, which could potentially raise unnecessary issues and complicate cases. When dealing with Medicaid, you want to only provide the information they ask for. It is Medicaid’s responsibility to review the case and determine if additional info is needed.
3. Asset Preservation and Medicaid Allowable Spenddowns.
As part of Medicaid’s requirement for approval, anyone deemed over assets (Ranging from $2,400 to $8,000), would have to spend down their assets to below the Asset limit. This includes IRA’s, 401K’s, Life Insurance, Savings, Bonds etc… Basically, anything of value needs to be liquated into the main checking account where it can be spent down. Spend down is usually completed via Private Pay to the facility until the individual meets the Medicaid requirement. This part of the Medicaid process is the most critical, complex and is also time sensitive. However, most people don’t know that Medicaid allows you to use that money for other specific expenses, other than paying the facility bill. These are called Allowable Spend-downs and they include such things as outstanding prior medical bills, setting up an irrevocable burial, as well as some home maintenance expenses, among other things. it is important to know what is allowed, as any money coming out of the account that is not allowed will be flagged by Medicaid, and could incur a penalty period.
4. Irrevocable Burial
Although a sensitive subject, setting up a burial ahead of time is something that can be utilized as an allowable spenddown. Depending on what county you live in, Medicaid will allow you to spend around $10,000 – $15,000 of your assets to set up an irrevocable burial. This burial cannot be taken back or cancelled, and is payable when the resident passes away. Many times, families are unaware of this in advance, and the children end up paying out of pocket for the cost. Additionally, when a loved one passes, you do not want to worry about the burial. That time should be focused on morning the loss and remembering that family member.
5. Using A Medicaid Specialist Company
Over the years, the #1 concern we hear, is that the Medicaid process is overwhelming and family members don’t know where to start. Additionally, many responsible parties find themselves unable to start because they are not POA, and therefore cannot get the documents Medicaid is asking for. If you are finding yourself in this place, do not worry, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are some good resouves and services that can do the application for you. Medicaid services such as Silverkey, will take the responsibility of the Medicaid application from A-Z. This includes meeting face to face with families, to go over everything in detail, submitting application for Medicaid, requesting 5 years of bank statement, doing a Power of Attorney (if applicable), Setting up an Irrevocable Burial, liquidating any IRA’s, 401K’s Life Insurance Polcies, etc…. Silverkey has a streamlined process designed to make this as stress-free as possible. Call to find out how to get started!
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