MEDICAID CRISIS PLANNING vs. MEDICAID PRE-PLANNING:
In the past, Medicaid planning was predominantly crisis related planning. Crisis planning, or 911 planning as we commonly refer to it, involves planning to qualify an individual for Medicaid benefits immediately. In other words, the applicant is either in a nursing facility or preparing to enter a nursing facility in the immediate future and wanting to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Crisis planning can also involve an applicant who is remaining at home and either receiving in-home health care services or needing to receive those services immediately. In the typical Medicaid crisis case, the applicant is in poor health and usually does not participate in the planning process.
The planning is conducted on his or her behalf by the applicant’s spouse, power of attorney, or children. By definition, the applicant is unable to attend meetings or participate in the planning due to his or her incapacity. The applicant is either in a nursing facility, hospital or unable to leave the home. The applicant can obtain Medicaid qualification immediately. Contrary to popular belief, the applicant does not have to wait 3 years, 5 years or any length of time to qualify for benefits. See the third thing you should know about Medicaid titled, “Medicaid Planning Does Not Have to Be Done Several Years in Advance”. Over the past several years, there has been a significant growth in the number of applicants desiring to do their Medicaid planning much Medicaid preplanning case, the applicant is usually in fair to good health and does not anticipate needing care in the immediate future.
The national statistics tell us 1 out of every 2 people needs care. The applicant simply wants to get the planning completed and assets positioned so that if the applicant is in the 50% of those individuals needing care, the applicant and the applicant’s family will be protected. They will not have to go through the Medicaid crisis planning. In most Medicaid preplanning cases, the potential applicant is in good health and able to participate in the planning process. The individual is able to attend most, if not all meetings, provide some, if not all, of the needed information and make decisions regarding the planning. The potential applicant does not know if and when the Medicaid will be needed. Sometimes the Medicaid preplanning individuals can either be married couples or single individuals.
The potential applicant is considered to have a preplanning case even if the individual is receiving assistance from a child or loved one in handling financial affairs or other matters but is still in good health. Although an applicant can wait until the last minute to qualify for Medicaid benefits, there are two distinct advantages of Medicaid preplanning over Medicaid crisis planning. First, preplanning is lest costly than crisis planning. In most cases, preplanning costs approximately a third to two-thirds of the cost of crisis planning. Second, preplanning is done at a time and in a manner which does not create as much stress and anxiety for the applicant and the applicant’s family. When Medicaid planning is left to the last possible moment as with crisis planning, the applicant and applicant’s family are dealing with a variety of issues (i.e. applicant’s health, applicant’s care, cost of care, etc.).
Qualifying for Medicaid at this time adds one more issue to an already stressful situation. These advantages are directly due to the fact a Medicaid preplanning applicant does not need benefits immediately. Instead, the applicant positions himself or herself for Medicaid well before the benefits are needed. This allows the preplanning applicant to take advantage of the one element a crisis planning applicant does not have which is time.
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