Millions of Americans pay into Medicaid without truly understanding how it works. The most important thing to note is that you do not need to retire to access the benefits. There are several other instances where you might become eligible and need to do some Medicaid planning to make the absolute best of the benefits.
CNN explains that Medicaid covers lower-income households. It estimates that 74 million people receive benefits to assist with bills. Here are some of the many cases where it can prove helpful.
Nursing home residents
If your retirement plan involves living in a nursing home instead of aging in place, Medicaid might help cover this. In fact, three out of every five nursing home residents receive Medicaid benefits. In spite of this, note that senior citizens make up only 15% of enrollees and receive roughly 36% of Medicaid’s distributed benefits.
Whether adopting or giving birth to a child, Medicaid might help pay for expenses. Residents in some states make use of this more than others:
- 72% in New Mexico
- Roughly 50% in New York
- Roughly 50% in California
- 27% in New Hampshire
In 2014 alone, Medicaid helped pay for drug treatment and rehabilitation services for 2.3 million people with a dependency on opioids. Unfortunately, many Americans become addicted to medication after doctors prescribe them, so this is a possibility some people plan for after major surgeries.
Medicaid planning mostly pertains to the elderly. However, if you have a chronic illness, adoptive children, an upcoming delivery or other eligible expenses, it is a good idea to consider your Medicaid options.