If you, or someone you love, is living with a disability or medical condition that requires ongoing medical care and assistance you likely already know the cost of that care can be significant. For some people, a long-term care facility is the only option; however, for others long-term care would really not be necessary if in-home help was available. In-home healthcare, however, can be costly and is not covered by most private health insurance policies. If you are in need of home healthcare, the good news is that you may be able to get Medicaid to help you at home in Illinois.
Medicaid is a federal healthcare program that is administered by each individual state. Because Medicaid is administered at the state level, there are differences between the states with regard to eligibility criteria and benefits offered by the program; however, the basic concept is the same in all states. Medicaid is intended to provide healthcare benefits to low income individuals and families. Because Medicaid offers many benefits that are not offered by Medicare nor most private health insurance policies, over half of all seniors eventually turn to Medicaid for assistance. Often, that assistance is needed to cover the high costs associated with long-term care. Medicaid may also cover in-home care though, allowing people to remain in their own homes much longer than would be possible without in-home care.
The Illinois Medicaid program routinely covers short-term, intermittent home health services. For Medicaid to cover the costs the care must be curative or rehabilitative in nature and may be provided by a home health care agency, a physical therapist, speech therapist, and/or an occupational therapist. You must show progress toward a goal as outlined in your care plan created by your doctor for Medicaid to continue covering the care.
If longer term in-home care is needed, a Medicaid “waiver” program may help. The “Home Services Program”, for example, covers expenses for in-home care for people with disabilities who need ongoing in-home care and assistance. The eligibility guidelines for Medicaid waiver programs are typically somewhat different than those for regular Medicaid; however, income and assets are still considered when determining eligibility. If you already have Medicaid planning strategies included in your overall estate plan you will likely qualify for a Medicaid waiver program if/when you need in-home care. If you do not already have Medicaid planning in your estate plan and you are concerned you may exceed the asset limit that is part of the eligibility requirements, consult with your estate planning attorney.
If you have additional questions or concerns about Medicaid planning, or your Illinois estate plan in general, contact the experienced Illinois estate planning attorneys at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP by calling 309-944-2188 to schedule your appointment today.
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