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Find a facility first or apply for medicaid first?

My dad is aware that he needs some type of residential living services due to Parkinson's but has no money. I know we will need to apply for Medicaid but which do I do first? I
Status: Open    Feb 04, 2016 - 04:22 AM


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Expert Answers

Feb 09, 2016 - 10:23 AM

In most states, you need to gain admission to a Medicaid facility before you can apply for assistance.

Feb 09, 2016 - 10:40 AM

I would recommend you find a facility first, even though you can certainly begin preparing the application at the same time. You will need to list a facility on most applications. In addition, you will want to make sure that the facility you choose is Medicaid eligible (some are not). A final benefit of picking a facility first is that they may help you with the application itself.

Feb 09, 2016 - 04:06 PM

If you are applying for residential care, you will need to apply for Medicaid first, then contact In Home Supportive Services to come out and do an evaluation on the level of care your father needs in order to find out what services the county can provide to him.

Tony Bevin

Feb 10, 2016 - 06:41 AM

I think the best answer is in between. You cannot actually apply for Medicaid until he is in a facility but you can begin collecting the documents and planning for the application. If he currently has excess resources ($2,000 in most states) you can be planning the spend down and exploring strategies of how to conserve or preserve those resources for him or his family. There are many ways to do preserve resources that neither Medicaid nor a nursing home will tell you about. If his resources are in excess of $20,000 or he still owes real estate or owned real estate in the past five years I would strongly suggest you seek professional help with the Medicaid application. You will be able to save more than you spend for the assistance.

If his resources are below that amount began collecting five years of financial records. Look for ways to do so on your own first such as look for bank statements at his home, look on-line, and request on-line access to his bank account(s) to print them at home. Banks can charge for the statements and some charge a lot.

Get a power of attorney if you do not have one now assuming he is mentally competent to do so. This will make it easier for you to assist him.

Look for life insurance policies, cancer policies, burial insurance or pre-paid plans. All of those will have to be addressed. He will probably not be able to keep any life insurance especially if it has cash value.

You will need statements from any sitters or home assistance he has paid. You will need records of his automobiles, boats, recreational vehicles, etc. Including any he has had in the past five years.

This is not a comprehensive list of the things you need but most of them. After you have all of these items or while you are collecting them visit nursing homes to find one you like. When you apply for admission it will be of great benefit if you have those items ready or have your professional assistant tell them it is ready and discuss it with the nursing home. Facilities are reluctant to admit people Medicaid pending unless they have the information to show that he will be approved for Medicaid.

Keep in mind you are going to be under the stress of choosing a facility, moving him there and coming face to face with his condition and mortality while needing to spend 40 hours gathering information. Any information gathering you can do now will be of great mental and physical relief to you later.

Best wishes and Godspeed to you and your father.


Feb 08, 2016 - 07:43 AM

I would recomend that you begin the Medicaid process first. This process can be time consuming and involves the gathering of lots of information. How long the process will take, from application to the approval of the Medicaid, will depend on what assets, if any, your dad may have. Once you have begun the process, I would then begin to visit area nursing homes to get an idea of which facility may be the best fit for your dad. When you speak with the facility's marketing director, tell them that your dad is "pending Medicaid". This will let them know that you have begun the Medicaid process and will give them a better idea of when and if your dad could be admitted to the facility. Some facility's are hesitent to accept "pending" Medicaid residents, because there is no guarantee (yet) that they would recieve payment for your dad's services. However, there are facility's that do not considr it as big of an issue. As I mentioned above, getting through the Medicaid process can be time consuming and stressful but once finished, it will be hugely beneficial to your dad. Just hang in there, ask lots of questions, and encourage your family to support you through this process.

I hope this was helpful to you.

Thank you,

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