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Medicaid may not cover all costs

Many New Jersey residents have found that either themselves or a loved one has to enter an assisted living facility when they could no longer take care of themselves on their own. According to one source, over 700,000 disabled or elderly individuals in the United States are cared for in some type of residential care communities. And, as the baby boomer population continues to age, the number of people who need to live in assisted living facilities will only go up.

However, paying for such care is not always easy. Many people rely on Medicaid to pay for such care. Unfortunately, one study has found that some residential care facilities put a cap on how many residents can pay with Medicaid. Moreover, Medicaid might not cover everything.

For example, it might cover services provided by the facility, but not the expenses associated with room and board. If a person does not have a high enough income to afford room and board, even if they have Medicaid they may not be able to afford to live in a residential care setting. This means that they may need to turn to a nursing home, which in the increases the costs taxpayers must bear, as it costs more to place a person in a nursing home than it does a residential care setting.

Therefore, if Medicaid rates are high enough to maintain the necessary supply of residential care settings to those who need them, it may reduce the number of Medicaid recipients going to nursing homes, while ensuring these people still get the quality of care they need. Those who are relying on Medicaid as part of their long-term care planning should ensure that they understand what benefits are available to them. An attorney can help explain more about Medicaid and can help Medicaid recipients with their long-term care planning needs.

Source: EurekAlert!, "Low Medicaid rates limit beneficiaries' access to assisted living facilities," Aug. 7, 2017

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