Massachusetts will affect Medicaid services.
Eligibility is the buzzword for government programs.
If you are deemed eligible, you receive financial assistance.
If not, no assistance.
According to a recent Boston Globe article titled “MassHealth may force seniors to make hard choice,” MassHealth may choose to make eligibility more difficult for senior residents.
The Medical health insurance program of Massachusetts is considering changes to requirements for eligibility.
These changes would make it more difficult for those with Special Needs Trusts to qualify for government programs that finance nursing homes and other health services.
Basically, any assets in trust would need to be spent down before qualifying for MassHealth.
To adhere more strictly to 2008 federal Medicaid guidelines and ... to minimize strain on the $15 million MassHealth budget.
Why is this a big deal?
Trusts have traditionally been exempt.
What would the new eligibility requirements be to receive MassHealth assistance?
Assets—including any trusts—could not exceed $2,000.
Monthly income must be capped at $100.
How much does nursing home care cost?
A shared room costs approximately $135,000 per year
Advocates for disabled seniors do not like these proposed changes.
It will decrease the quality of life for many seniors.
It removes the ability to use a trust to pay for dental, health aids, utilities and clothing.
It could be more expensive to taxpayers in the long run by removing independence.
The choice has not yet been made.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
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Reference: Boston Globe (January 3, 2017) “MassHealth may force seniors to make hard choice”