There’s no denying the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the lives of people. On top of this is the health risk posed by the various strains of the novel coronavirus. The pandemic has led to worsening public health conditions and even the loss of lives.
It’s good that government programs such as Social Security and Medicare exist to assist individuals and families. Another essential government program is Medicaid that helps low-income people, especially the older ones and those with underlying health conditions.
That said, you should take advantage of this program in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. That is where Medicaid planning comes into the picture. In this article, we’ll tackle what Medicaid planning entails during the pandemic. Keep on reading to learn more.
Medicaid in a nutshell
For the uninitiated, Medicaid is a public health insurance program offered by both the federal governments and various states in America. It primarily assists low-income individuals and families who need healthcare coverage. On a more specific note, it helps the following groups:
- Low-income people
- Pregnant women
- Disable individuals
- Older people (65 years old and above)
Medicaid isn’t the one providing the medical care or health services. The program only pays for your services provided by health professionals and medical facilities. These services typically include physician’s visits, inpatient stays, custodial care, and even long-term medical care.
Know that it was President Lyndon B. Johnson who signed Medicaid into law in 1965. The Title XIX of the Social Security Act had then authorized this program and materialized it. But what started as a health coverage program has turned into the largest funding source for health services for low-income Americans. As of the time in writing, there are about 70 million covered by the Medicaid programs in the US.
Medicaid application and coverage amid the COVID-19 crisis
It’s apparent how the Medicaid applications have spurred during the pandemic. For one, many states have received an increase in enrollment due to the crisis. Also, the rise of health conditions has led to many individuals seeking medical care and needing health coverage. Here are some Medicaid application and coverage issues encountered:
- Application: The pandemic has led to increased Medicaid applications, as many individuals have lost their jobs and have had medical conditions. The individual states may not have completed processing all these applications.
- Verification: There’s a need for most states to process post-enrollment verification. Along with this is to verify eligibility criteria based on self-attested information.
- Re-determination: The pandemic has opened opportunities for individuals and families for Medicaid eligibility through state-adopted emergency authorities. However, there’s a need for every state to re-determine the eligibility and coverage of people.
- Renewals: The pandemic restrictions may have hampered the processing of Medicaid renewal. However, every state should use the electronic data or information available to renew Medicaid coverage and ensure consistent health care.
Medicaid Planning During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 planning has reared its ugly head affecting health and life in general. As such, every individual and family must come in prepared and ready for what lies ahead. Especially low-income individuals, elderly seniors, and those with underlying health conditions, people must consider Medicaid Planning amid the pandemic.
Medicaid planning entails sorting and protecting your assets to be eligible for the Medicaid program. On top of these are the home health care and nursing home care services you can get. However, every state limits the monthly income and assets a person can have to qualify for Medicaid coverage.
So it’s best to work with an estate planning lawyer. Your hired professional can help you with several estate planning techniques, one of which is seeking Medicaid coverage.
Institutional Care Program
Institutional Care Program (ICP) is one Medicaid program in the state of Florida. It provides general medical coverage that will help you pay for the cost of care in a nursing facility. Your Medicaid can pay for either intermediate or skilled care for an unlimited time.
Keep in mind, however, that Medicaid varies from one state to another. It’s best to check with your state to see what Medicaid programs they can offer. From there, you can verify your eligibility and submit your application. While at it, work with your attorney for your estate planning. Don’t forget to include your Medicaid planning as well.
The need for Medicaid planning
At this point, you now know what Medicaid planning entails amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to consider the valuable information discussed above. As government programs exist to help individuals and families, you must take advantage of them. That said, start with Medicaid planning for your health coverage.