Last year was filled with turbulence for seniors and family caregivers. The House of Representatives passed the RAISE Act offering help and support for elderly families. For many, the cost of caring for our loved ones carry unexpected emotional burdens and financial surprises. Costs are only expected to increase along with the out-of-pocket expenses that could jeopardize the quality of senior health care.
Caregivers can find counseling services throughout the states at local agencies with information on eligibility and benefits. Beyond counseling, seniors and family members need to work with an elder attorney specializing in government health programs. It’s imperative to stay updated on the current rulings, news items and program details for families in the decision-making process.
Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services
We spend a lifetime, providing for our families and contributing to retirement programs with the intent to manage long-term health issues. For most the difficulties occur due to the lack of knowledge on how to use the program services set into place for aiding and protecting the elderly. Ultimately, preplanning is the best course of action, but there are times when the unexpected happens. Meeting with an experienced elderly law attorney can help to clarify and resolve the individual challenges of aging healthcare.
Under these two programs, senior and caregiver qualifications differ for each state. For the senior, the focus is on age and the ability to care for oneself as a qualifying perquisite. Medicaid requirements can affect a senior’s eligibility for nursing homes or long-term care services. By law an elderly attorney can help to protect the senior’s assets without interruption to the medical benefits.
Families without estate planning may face dealing with the Medicaid estate recovery program. This program has the right to take all or part of the senior’s assets as recovery of the funds paid toward the senior’s care. It’s important to meet with your attorney to review the circumstances and prevent Medicaid from taking the assets.
Old American Act
In 2016 the OA Act authorized long-term care under the Ombudsman program through 2019. The program supports the Elder Rights Protection, safeguarding them against abuse, neglect or exploitation. Although, eligibility varies from state-to-state, the prime perquisite is 60 years of age and older. This is a national network program regulating nutrition, good-health practices, day services and transportation for seniors.
Elder attorneys can help with the qualifying process for assisted living communities and long-term health care. The Act prohibits states from denying services based on income. It also protects seniors seeking training and employment against age-based discrimination. It’s a good idea for seniors and family members to meet with an elder law attorney to discuss the circumstances and settle your worries.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
A geriatric healthcare program for elderly veterans is available for home, community or VA medical center services. The program extends coverage and assistance into long-term care requirements for nursing homes or residential communities. There’s a qualification process and information on which benefits, or programs fit the elder’s health condition.
It’s recommended to meet with an elder law attorney early, in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions about your choice of treatment and medical care later. Executing a durable power of attorney for health care or a living will, makes sure your wishes are carried out and relayed to your family members and caregivers.
Long Term Living Association can answer your questions about programs and assure the quality of health delivery with long-term services. As seniors age, they become more vulnerable and it’s necessary for family members or caregivers to protect the legal rights of elderly individuals. Health associations and government programs provide the information and access to legal, financial and medical resources.
Elder Law and Estate Planning Specialist