“What is the benefit of Alabama Medicaid for someone in a nursing home long term?”

Long term care in a nursing home is often paid for by Alabama Medicaid.

Discover how Alabama Medicaid pays for nursing home care.

We often talk about how to qualify for Alabama Medicaid but how does it actually help someone who is facing long term care in a nursing home?

The simple answer is someone who qualifies for Alabama Medicaid will have their nursing home monthly bill paid by Medicaid.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell.

Bob goes into a nursing home and the monthly bill is $7,500.

Bob has Social Security of $1,500 a month and that’s it.

So how in the world is Bob going to make up the $6,000 a month “shortfall”?

If he is on Alabama Medicaid, then that shortfall is paid 100% by Medicaid.

Now Bob doesn’t get to keep his Social Security obviously — that goes to pay his nursing home bill.  All but $30 that is called a “personal needs allowance”.

So the general rule is you use your income first, and then Medicaid picks up the difference.

Without Medicaid paying for the vast majority of all long term nursing home beds in Alabama, most Alabamians would not be able to go to a nursing home.

But remember no one wants to go to a nursing home.  Instead, people go when they have to.  When they require skilled nursing care 24 hours a day.

So it is a necessity for some to go to a nursing home and the only way the vast majority can pay for the care is with the help of Alabama Medicaid.

Few closing thoughts on Alabama Medicaid paying for nursing homes.

If Bob was married, and his wife made too little of money every month, we could “divert” some of Bob’s income to his wife.  This is known as the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA).  In Alabama, this amount is $2,002.50.

So if Bob’s wife Susie draws $850 a month in Social Security and has no other income, then she is “below” the $2,002.50 MMMNA.

To fix this, we divert the amount needed to get Susie to the $2,002 number.  In this case it would be $2,002 minus $850 so about $1,152.

We divert $1,152 of Bob’s income to Susie.

So Bob still keeps his $30 personal needs allowance, and Susie keeps $1,152.  Bob is paying $318 and Alabama Medicaid picks up the rest of his $7,500 a month bill.

Finally, keep in mind that we must qualify for Medicaid and either not have any penalties or have a plan in place to pay for the penalty months to get to the time when Medicaid pays.

Contact us if you have any questions or want any help in discovering your options with Medicaid

If you are facing a loved one going in a nursing home and you want to discuss your options for getting qualified for Medicaid without losing all of your family’s assets, give us a call at 205-879-2447.  Or fill out our contact form.  We’ll be happy to help you walk through all of your options and the good and bad of each option.

We look forward to talking to you.

John Watts

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