This blog shares helpful resources for seeking Medicaid supported senior care. I am not an expert, but I want to be helpful. If I learn about other useful resources, I will add to this blog.
What is Medicaid? Medicaid, also known as Title 19, is a government health insurance program for people who cannot afford basic levels of health care. It covers almost all ongoing expenses.
Many seniors depend on Medicaid. In Connecticut, among people over age 65, about 1 in 7 rely on it. Among seniors at skilled nursing facilities, about 2 in 3 depend on Medicaid.
Medicaid is not Medicare. In general, Medicare pays for medications, hospital visits, nursing home rehabilitation, and home health agency therapies. Medicare is not financial needs based.
Medicaid applications are complicated and take several months. Some people do it themselves. Some seek assistance from elder law attorneys. Some get help from the home they move into.
For hiring help, I recommend Sandy Sandford (phone: 860-283-9730). She is compassionate and professional. She charges $2,500 per application. Most attorneys charge much more.
Most nursing homes accept Medicaid. But the state does not pay them enough. To cover costs, nursing homes balance lower paying Medicaid residents with high paying private pay residents.
Some nursing homes thrive. Others struggle. To find good ones, I recommend the Medicare.gov webpage. The page has a searchable list of nursing homes. It rates them and has lots of details.
For an alternative to nursing homes, I suggest residential care homes. Most accept Medicaid. They are usually small and cozy but with less nursing. For a list of them, see this RCHwebpage.
Also, the CT Demonstration Project subsidizes assisted living homes in Seymour, Glastonbury, Hartford and Middletown. The Department of Social Services has a list (phone: 855-626-6632).
The CT Pilot Pay Program is another good alternative. 1 in 4 CT assisted livings participate. The program helps with up to $2,360 per month. See our CT Pays Your Nursing blog for details.
Pilot Pay assistance amounts depend on savings, income, and nursing needs. For residents with high needs and VA benefits, combined monthly incomes typically reach $4,400 to $5,100.
Shady Oaks does not have Medicaid, but we have a strong Pilot Pay Program. 5 residents now get about $2,000 monthly. Families sometimes cover remaining costs, often at $300 to $900 a month.
For more help, Shady Oaks has shared and discounted rooms, with enough staffing so residents do not need one-on-one aides. Only about 1 in 10 residents eventually need Medicaid and leave.
The best homes often have wait lists. Most lists are open, free, and no obligation. If homes then call you, you can say yes, or not yet. Shady Oaks has a short wait list. Signing up is a good idea.