What Long-Term Care Benefits Are Available to Veterans?
You cannot predict when you or your elderly loved one may need long-term healthcare, but with proper planning and the sound planning advice that a Michigan elder law attorney can provide, you can help shield yourself and your elderly loved ones from unexpected medical expenses.
Medicaid, for example, is a joint federal-state healthcare program. For those who qualify, a number of Medicaid benefits are available in Michigan, from basic medical care coverage to long-term medical and nursing home care. Retired military veterans have even more options.
In Michigan, what healthcare benefit options are available for elderly veterans under Medicaid? And how does a Michigan Medicaid planning lawyer help elderly veterans and their loved ones identify and take advantage of those options?
Who Qualifies for Medicaid in Michigan?
Although the two programs are sometimes confused, Medicare and Medicaid are two separate and distinct healthcare programs. Medicare is a federal health insurance program available to persons who are over 65 as well as persons who are disabled.
Medicaid, however, is a joint federal/state program that offers health coverage to persons with low incomes. In Michigan, to qualify for Medicaid, your household income must be at or under 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Your age may also affect your eligibility for Medicaid.
If you are disabled, you may qualify for Medicaid benefits without regard to your age, but not everyone with a disability will qualify. Medicaid requires those with disabilities to meet certain income limits. A Michigan Medicaid planning lawyer can help you determine if you qualify.
Will You Require Nursing Home Care?
If you’re a veteran in Michigan who requires nursing home care, or if your loved one is a veteran who requires nursing home care, Medicare will probably pay only a portion of your costs. The program partially pays for a stay at a skilled nursing facility – but only for one hundred days – if:
1. You were in the hospital for at least three days.
2. You enter a Medicare-certified nursing facility within thirty days of your hospital stay.
3. You require skilled nursing care.
Even if you meet these requirements, Medicare only covers all of the costs for the first twenty days. For days 21 through 100, Medicare covers only a percentage of the costs. However, if you qualify for Medicaid, it will help you cover some or all of the costs not covered by Medicare.
What Does Medicaid Provide?
Most Medicaid plans in Michigan pay for most standard healthcare services. The list of standard healthcare services includes but is not limited to:
1. visits to your doctor including a yearly exam
2. emergency services, surgeries, and hospital care
3. physical therapy, occupational therapy, and mental health services
4. podiatry, dental, hearing, speech, vision, and chiropractic services
5. prescriptions, x-rays, and immunizations
6. home healthcare, nursing home care, and hospice care
Can a Veteran Receive both Medicaid and VA Benefits?
While it is sometimes possible for a veteran in Michigan to qualify for both Medicaid and VA benefits, few receive assistance from both programs simultaneously. When a veteran qualifies for both programs, he or she typically participates in the program that provides the greater benefit.
If you are a veteran, exactly which benefits are available to you? After reviewing your financial and medical situation, a Michigan elder law attorney can identify those benefits and ensure that your application for benefits is accurate and complete so that no mistakes disqualify you or delay your payments.
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a number of benefits and services that address the financial and medical challenges that many Michigan veterans and their families may face. Aid and Attendance, for example, is a benefit provided to veterans who served during wartime.
What is VA Aid and Attendance?
Aid and Attendance is a benefit awarded in addition to a veteran’s pension. Most veterans who receive Aid and Attendance use it for home care services. This allows them to receive the daily help they need to stay at home instead of moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility.
To qualify for VA Aid and Attendance, a veteran must have been on active duty in wartime, but service in combat isn’t required. The veteran cannot have a dishonorable discharge and must be 100 percent disabled, although the disability did not have to occur while the veteran was serving.
Some veterans in Michigan may not know about Aid and Attendance benefits. Others may think they won’t qualify under the asset and income limits. The income requirements, however, are not based on a veteran’s gross income, and some of a veteran’s assets are usually exempt.
When Should You Speak to a Planning Attorney?
It is never too early to begin planning for long-term healthcare. A Michigan Medicaid planning attorney can offer a veteran and his or her loved ones the insights and details that can make your long-term healthcare planning easier and more effective.
With the proper advance planning, when the time comes to apply for your benefits, you will probably be approved quickly for Medicaid or VA benefits. If, for any reason, your benefits are denied, you must contact your Medicaid planning lawyer immediately.
Nobody wants to require long-term healthcare, but many of us will need it. To begin long-term healthcare planning, you will need to consult an elder law attorney who has considerable experience helping veterans in Michigan plan for and obtain their benefits.
Estate Planning & Elder Law Services – Trusted by Michigan’s Veterans
Your elder law attorney will explain long-term planning, and when the time comes, will help you obtain the benefits that are rightfully yours. The attorneys at Estate Planning & Elder Law Services are committed to helping veterans in Michigan obtain the benefits they have earned.
If you have served our nation, we are ready to serve you. Estate Planning & Elder Law Services has been advising and representing veterans and their families in Southeast Michigan for more than twenty years, including clients in Livingston, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Wayne Counties.
If you are a veteran in Michigan who needs to obtain Medicaid or VA benefits, if you are ready to begin planning for your long-term healthcare needs, or if you would simply like to learn more about long-term healthcare planning, schedule your initial evaluation with us – today – by calling Estate Planning & Elder Law Services at 248-997-4394 or toll free at 888-PLAN-050.