Medicaid is considered insurance of last resort for many people. When you have limited money and few resources, you cannot afford to buy private health insurance coverage or pay out-of-pocket for healthcare. Medicaid provides payment for health services under these circumstances.
Medicaid also pays for care that almost no other insurance will cover. It is common for people to require nursing home care as they get older. Private insurance companies and Medicare pay for nursing home care, but only for a short time and only under circumstances requiring skilled medical services. The majority of nursing home residents are admitted for skilled custodial care, or help with routine daily living and not skilled medical services. Under these circumstances, Medicaid is the only provider that will pay.
Because Medicaid pays for care when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive it, it is important to be able to qualify for Medicaid coverage in a timely manner. A Medicaid planning lawyer at Parman & Easterday can help you protect your property by structuring ownership so you can meet Medicaid’s eligibility criteria without having to spend down all your assets. Unfortunately, even when you meet Medicaid’s eligibility requirements in Kansas, this does not necessarily mean you will be able to receive Medicaid benefits right away.
Medicaid Patients Face Long Delay in Getting Coverage
KSNT reports on troubling problems with Medicaid in Kansas which are resulting in delayed approval, even for people who should qualify for this government health insurance program. According to the KSNT report, there are thousands of Kansans who are waiting months for an insurance application to be approved as a result of a backlog.
Medicaid in Kansas is called KanCare, and responsibility for administering the program recently shifted overnight from the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Health and Environment. Applying for care used to happen locally, and the offices handling applications reportedly did a wonderful job. Now, however, applications go to a clearinghouse in Topeka and there are many complaints about the service being provided.
Some of the complaints come from Kansas nursing homes, which are waiting for KanCare to process the applications of residents and begin paying their bills. There are five residents living in one Kansas nursing home who have been waiting months for their insurance applications to be approved and who are only able to live in the facility because the nursing home is kind enough to wait for approval of their coverage.
The administrator of the nursing home where these five residents are awaiting approval of their KanCare applications indicates the shift to the new clearinghouse has been a nightmare for nursing homes. The homes are paid nothing for patients until the residents qualify for benefits, and the nursing homes are not provided with help when they call the Topeka clearinghouse processing the applications. Instead, all that seems to happen is they end up on hold for a long time.
Patients awaiting coverage for nursing home bills are lucky if the nursing homes allow them to live in the facilities while awaiting approval for benefits. Patients who need Medicaid coverage for other things, like life-saving medications, may not be so lucky and may not be able to get the medication they need if they can’t pay for it and don’t have insurance to cover the cost. Improvements must be made for these vulnerable patients.
How a Medicaid Planning Lawyer Can Help
Parman & Easterday can provide invaluable assistance in structuring the ownership of your assets so you can qualify for means-tested benefits when you are a senior.
You have worked your entire life to build a nest egg and leave a legacy for your family. Going into a nursing home in your old age should not mean you are left with nothing. With a Medicaid plan, you can protect the property and wealth you have acquired and qualify for coverage sooner.
Our legal team will help you to navigate the bureaucracy when applying for benefits and do everything possible to move your application forward as quickly as possible so you can get coverage. When there are delays because of government backlogs, we will work hard to make the process go as quickly and smoothly as possible, and we’ll keep you updated on our progress. Give us a call today at (913) 385-9400, (405) 703-9987 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you get the health benefits you need.