Shields & Boris

7 Things to Consider about Qualifying for Medicaid in Pennsylvania

Medicaid is a wonderful program that can provide skilled care for those in need. But not everyone meets the government’s definition of ‘in need.’ We’ve listed 7 key factors that can affect whether or not you qualify for Medicaid.

  1. You have an illness that requires long term care. Typically, if someone is in a skilled care nursing home or in need of being placed in a nursing home or other long term care facility, they meet this test.
  2. You have to be at least 65 years of age or if you are younger than 65, you must be legally classified as disabled.
  3. You must be a US citizen.
  4. You must be a resident of the state within which you are in a nursing home. Of course, if you are already living in a Pennsylvania nursing home, then you are considered Pennsylvania resident. But it’s important to remember that if you live in Pennsylvania, Medicaid will not pay for you to live in another state’s long term care facility.
  5. There are some income limitations particularly if there is a married spouse residing in the family home. So be certain to have all of your finances in order so that you can be prepared for any questions.
  6. There are asset limitations on what the institutionalized spouse can keep and what a community or at-home healthy spouse can keep. So again, make certain to have clear records of all of your assets and finances so that you are prepared to answer any questions and deal with any issues that might arise.
  7. Most importantly, you must be open and honest with the state about your assets and income. This means that you cannot give away all your money today and go to a nursing home tomorrow claiming you are now broke. The state has ways of discovering this kind of behavior and it will affect your chances of getting the care and help you need.

Remember that Medicaid is extremely useful and financially helpful, however, the rules are extremely complicated and confusing. Without planning and advice, you might spend more money than you should or jeopardize your chances of qualifying for Medicaid at all.
It is important to get the advice of an attorney before to help you avoid any pittfalls associated with Medicaid. The Elder Law Offices of Shields and Boris is here to help you, so please contact us with your questions about qualifying for Medicaid in Pennsylvania.