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Medicaid & Long-Term Care in Washington State

By March 7, 2020 March 23rd, 2020 No Comments

All states provide some form of government-funded health insurance to low-income residents. In Washington state, the Medicaid program is also called Washington Apple Health (or Apple Health, for short). Although this program is available to low-income people of any age, many people who are 65 years or older rely on its support as they explore their options for long-term care. If you or your aging parents are starting to think about how you’ll afford long-term care, it’s highly recommended that you speak with a skilled long-term care planning lawyer who can help you assess your situation and determine an effective plan. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how Medicaid affects your long-term care options.

Types of Care

There are essentially three types of Medicaid available to people 65 and older in Washington state. If you intend to move into a nursing home, you can apply for Nursing Home Medicaid. If you meet the eligibility requirements (your monthly income must be $2,349 or lower), you should receive coverage. Of course, the income limits vary for married couples, so keep that in mind. For individuals hoping to remain at home, in an assisted living facility, or in an adult family home, and whose income is $2,349 per month or less, applying for a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid Waiver is an option. However, there is a limit on the number of people who can participate in this program, so you may be placed on a waiting list until a spot becomes available. Finally, people whose income is less than $783 a month may qualify for Aged Blind and Disabled Medicaid coverage.

How “Income” is Defined

When it comes to determining your Medicaid eligibility, your monthly income will be taken into consideration. Income is a broad term that refers to any source of financial payment that you receive, such as employment wages, alimony payments, retirement benefits, stock dividends, Social Security income, and more. If one spouse is applying for nursing home Medicaid or HCBS Medicaid, only that individual’s income is considered. This means that the income of the other spouse (the non-applicant) does not affect the applicant’s eligibility.

Determining Your Medicaid Eligibility

Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult for you to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Medicaid websites can be unintuitive and confusing to navigate, leaving you with more questions than answers. If you are thinking about your long-term care planning options and you want to have a clearer picture about whether you will be able to qualify for Medicaid, it’s worth it to reach out to a knowledgeable long-term care planning attorney who can walk you through your options. Before you commit to a long-term care plan, you need to be certain that you’ll be able to afford it. Let your attorney assess your situation so that you can plan for a future that you’ll be able to enjoy, both emotionally and financially.

Want to learn more about Medicaid eligibility requirements in the Spokane Valley area? Contact Legacy Law Group today at (509) 315-8087 to get started with a dedicated elder law and long-term care planning attorney.