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Understanding Medicaid Proactive Planning and Medicaid Crisis Planning in Arkansas

What are Arkansas Medicaid and Medicare Programs?

Medicaid is a need-based, joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to low-income children, seniors, and people with disabilities. In addition, it covers care in a nursing home for those who qualify. Often our clients are surprised to learn that Medicare will only cover 20 to 100 days of “skilled nursing” care.

In the absence of any other public program covering long-term care, Medicaid has become the default nursing home insurance of the middle class. Nearly seventy percent (70%) of nursing home residents are on Medicaid.

Also, unlike Medicare, which is a federal program, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. Each state operates its own Medicaid system, but this system must conform to federal guidelines to receive federal money, which pays for about half the state’s Medicaid costs. (The state picks up the rest of the tab.) This program complicates matters since the Medicaid eligibility rules are somewhat different from state to state, and they keep changing.

Lacking access to alternatives such as paying privately or being covered by a long-term care insurance policy, most people pay out of pocket for long-term care until they become eligible for Medicaid.

Arkansas Annual Median Cost of Care (2020)

Homemaker Services $53,768 Adult Day Health Care $19,240 Semi-Private Room $93,075
Home Health Aide $54,912 Assisted Living Facility $51,600 Private Room $105,850

Resource: Genworth

Who Pays for Arkansas Long-Term Care?

As for home care (which can average over $12,000 per month), Medicaid has traditionally offered very little — except in New York, which provides home care to all Medicaid recipients who need it. Recognizing that home care costs far less than nursing home care, more and more states provide Medicaid-covered services to those who remain in their homes.

The Importance of Arkansas Medicaid Planning

Medicaid Planning is an essential part of the estate planning process in Searcy County, Arkansas. If your Arkansas estate planning documents do not help you achieve Medicaid eligibility, you could end up spending your life savings on nursing home care costs. In this situation, you need legal direction from an experienced Arkansas Medicaid planning lawyer to ensure the cost does not deplete your assets.

How Does Long-Term Care and Estate Planning Work Together?

Estate planning is one legal service that everyone needs. It is a large part of elder law, but as you age, it is crucial to have an Arkansas estate planning attorney who understands how to protect assets from financial mismanagement and long-term care costs that can devastate your estate. We understand this and the importance of planning and leaving something for your child and children’s child. Our firm can create a customized plan to protect you and your spouse in the event of nursing home care.

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Work with an Experienced Arkansas Medicaid Planning Attorney

McClelland Law Firm, P.A. is here to help you and your loved ones understand Medicaid planning, crisis planning, probate and trust administration, estate planning, guardianship, and elder law. Our Benton, Sherwood, and Searcy law offices welcome you to contact us and learn how we can help meet your estate planning legal matters in Searcy County and surrounding Arkansas areas.

Case Study:  

John Smith and Jane Smith of Cabot, Arkansas currently have a home, rental property in Jacksonville, Arkansas, and $40,000 in CD’s. After speaking with the Admissions Director and Director of Finance for John’s placement in a nursing home, they were told they needed to sell their rental ($60,000), and then spent down the $100,000 in liquid assets. Their son, who is a financial advisor in Little Rock, sought out an elder law attorney for a second opinion. After speaking with the attorney, he advised keeping the rental property; allocating $25,728 as the minimum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA), spend $7,000 for one month of the nursing home, and then spend the remainder on qualified repairs to the home. This elder law attorney was able to protect their assets and provide greater financial help for the wife.

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