Medicaid planning can be one of the most challenging areas to get right when estate planning. If your parents have too much wealth when they need Medicaid, the authorities could take it to pay for the services they need.
On the other hand, if they do not have enough put aside, you could need to pay to ensure they live out their final years in comfort and dignity.
Medicaid providers may charge extra for specific items or services
The federal government sets out rules about what Medicaid providers must include as standard and what extras they can charge. Understanding this and checking the conditions of any contracts you sign for care for your parents can avoid nasty surprises.
- Special food requirements: Facility providers must cater to a person’s dietary needs, yet they might dispute what qualifies as a need versus a want. If the facility considers your parent’s diet is outside their normal range of meals, they may charge you. Cultural differences could play a role here.
- Flowers: As you enter the nursing facility for the first time, you may see that most residents have flowers in their rooms. You might want your mother to have the same, so ask for them without realizing they come at an extra cost.
- Activities: Facilities must provide an activity program for residents, yet they can still charge extra for outings or activities they deem additional to the main program.
- Privacy: Having to share a room with a stranger can be uncomfortable for someone who has had their own house and privacy for most of their life. Yet, nursing home facilities may charge extra for a private room unless medical conditions require it.
- Electronic items: To stay in contact with your parent or to allow them to watch their favorite program, you might need to provide the phone and TV or pay extra for them.
There is a lot to understand when helping ensure your parents have an adequate Medicaid plan. Do not be afraid to ask for help.