Medicaid Pooled Trusts Keep Seniors Out Of Nursing Homes
News outlets report on Medicaid and long-term care.
The New York Times reports on Medicaid pooled trusts: "[T]here is a little-known way for some people in certain states to receive home care through Medicaid, without requiring them to impoverish themselves first. Here's how it works: a federal law established in 1993 allows disabled people to put their monthly income or assets - above the amounts Medicaid allows them to keep - into a special type of pooled trust. They can then use the money in the trust to pay for their basic monthly bills like rent, a mortgage payment or cable television. Medicaid, meanwhile, pays for the home care."
But stumbling blocks in the process include a lot of paperwork to sign up for the trust and submit bills each month, and "any money left in the trust after the person dies is generally kept by the nonprofit organization running the trust or paid back to Medicaid." The pooled trusts "are available only in about a dozen states for people over the age of 65, according to Special Needs Answers, an informational Web site run by the Academy of Special Needs Planners" (Siegel Bernard, 11/4).
In a second story, The New York Times explains the ins and outs of long-term care insurance. "[S]omething seems dreadfully wrong in the insurance market for long-term care. In 2009, there were fewer new individual buyers of the insurance than in any year since Limra, a market research firm, began tracking the data in 1988. It was also the first year that the number of existing policies did not increase." Some things to consider: Medicare does not cover long-term care costs, the odds of needing long-term care is high and you may not qualify for Medicaid (Lieber, 11/4).
Meanwhile, The Hill reports that "Medicaid Health Plans of America on Thursday announced the launch of its Center for Best Practices, a nonprofit affiliate organization dedicated to research, quality improvement and dissemination of health plans' best practices in the areas of both clinical and operational performance" (Pecquet, 11/4).