An Oklahoma City Medicaid planning lawyer can help you qualify for Medicaid to help cover nursing home care when you need it. Medicaid is one of the most important programs for seniors because it is one of the few options for paying for nursing home care. Understanding the rules for Medicaid eligibility is absolutely essential for seniors.
While many seniors depend upon Medicaid, the Government has problems keeping this important government insurance program fully funded. Recently, KFOR reported that cuts to residents are having an adverse impact on nursing home residents.
If you are dependent upon Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care or if you think you may need Medicaid coverage for care some day in the future, it is important to monitor what is going on with this program and to find out if cuts could affect you.
How Medicaid Cuts are Affecting Patients
According to KFOR, nursing home providers in Oklahoma are being told to expect an approximately 25-percent cut in daily reimbursement rates from Medicaid. The legislature is still working on a package to see how much funding is available and to decide what will happen to repayment rates. The Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers (OAHCP) is warning that this type of cut will be devastating to nursing home patients within Oklahoma.
It is estimated that as many as 93 percent of facilities would end up operating at a loss if the 25 percent cut goes through. The board president of OAHCP said: “the result will be mass closure of nursing homes. When that happens, a lot of seniors and disabled individuals will be out of options for receiving care.”
One facility, whose current reimbursement rate is $146 per day, indicates the cut would take them down to $110 daily. This would mean the nursing care facility could not provide the level of care necessary to accept patients and remain operational. The nursing care facility would have to close, and residents who are currently residing there would be forced to find other places to live-if they could.
The administrator at a rehab and care center interviewed by KFOR reported the facility she manages is already operating at a loss on every Medicaid patient. Further cuts would impact their continued ability to provide services, since losing even more money is not sustainable.
The problem is, many nursing homes receive the bulk of their payments from Medicaid because Medicaid is about the only insurer that covers nursing home care over the long term. Medicare and private policies may offer payments for skilled services for limited periods, but not for routine custodial care that patients can need for months and years. Even special long-term care insurance policies often have substantial restrictions and provide low reimbursement rates, if they are available to patients at all. Since there are few or no other options, most nursing home patients eventually end up relying on Medicaid. This is a big problem if Medicaid provides insufficient payments to nursing homes and nursing homes can’t keep their doors open.
The OAHCP has warned the legislature that even if they can find money to avoid cutting reimbursement rates for providers, some closures will still be necessary because the nursing home industry is so underfunded in Oklahoma. This should be a cause for concern for every senior and every person who may someday need care.
Why Medicaid Planning is Important to Get Coverage
Seniors and those who have older loved ones need to understand their options for getting their care costs covered. An Oklahoma City Medicaid planning lawyer can provide assistance in making sure you can qualify for Medicaid if you have to go into a nursing home.
How an Oklahoma City Medicaid Planning Lawyer Can Help You
Parman and Easterday has helped many clients take advantage of Medicaid benefits when they need them. While cuts can make benefits less available and can cause hardship, Medicaid may still be the only answer for those who need nursing home care. Let an Oklahoma City Medicaid planning lawyer make sure you can get covered.
To find out more about why Medicaid planning needs to be a part of your estate plan, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call today at (405) 703-9987 or contact us online today to speak with a member of our legal team about how we can help you get the Medicaid coverage you need.