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Colorado Medicaid Planning to Cover Your Ongoing Needs

Colorado Medicaid planning is essential for seniors who are considering their long-term care options. Learn more here.

 

When You Need Colorado Medicaid Planning

 

Colorado Medicaid Planning sectionColorado Medicaid planning may become necessary if you or your family determines that you require long-term care or assisted living arrangements. Residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility can be costly. Without adequate health insurance or Medicaid assistance, a long-term care facility can quickly deplete all assets and financial resources.

Medicaid may cover low-income individuals without any savings or real property. The financially well-off will likely pay for their long-term care out of pocket with little difficulty. Unfortunately, those individuals or couples considered middle class might entirely liquidate their assets and run through their savings within a matter of months.

Considering your long-term situation can be unnerving if you don’t have another form of insurance that will cover your stay or in-home assistance. Fortunately, there are options, and an elder law attorney can help you understand how Medicaid works, including the qualification requirements and eligibility.

 

Medicaid Planning Colorado to Cover Costs

Long-term care costs are expensive, and many elders don’t have long-term care insurance, which is why they should consider Medicaid planning in Colorado. Based on data by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most people will depend on Medicaid to cover their long-term needs at some point in their lives.

Medicaid is a federal and state program that helps disabled and older adults with limited income and resources pay medical costs and long-term care. The program also offers benefits like nursing home care and personal care services that are usually not covered by Medicare.

Thinking about long-term care can be stressful, and the rules vary by state. Hiring a reputable local firm like the Legacy Law Group with practice locations in Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado, can provide the information and advice specific to your state.

Understanding Colorado Medicaid Laws

 

Colorado Medicaid LawsBefore touring assisted living facilities, get to know the Colorado Medicaid laws. With better healthcare and nutrition, U.S. citizens continue to live longer, which means that more people require long-term care and the inherent costs involved. Unfortunately, fewer than ten-percent have long-term care insurance, and fewer still understand the Medicaid program.

Due to the high costs, many older citizens avoid buying long-term care insurance. They don’t understand that many will require stays in nursing homes and additional medical expenses that accompany them. Plus, this type of insurance usually has to be purchased several years before they need it. The cost for Medicaid benefits through a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust instead is generally less.

 

Colorado Medicaid Rules and Regulations

Colorado Medicaid rules and regulations can be complex for most people, but it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of the requirements to be accepted for a health care policy. 

There is a difference between Medicaid and Medicare. Although Medicare is generally for those 65 years of age or older, it is also available for specific individuals under the age of 65 who the Social Security Administration has deemed as disabled.

Medicare covers various expenses, which can be explained by a knowledgeable and skilled law firm with experience in elder law.

How to Get Medicaid in Colorado

 

How to Get Medicaid in ColoradoTo get Medicaid in Colorado, also called Health First Colorado, you have to fill out and submit a Medicaid application with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. An attorney can help you understand how the different programs work to help you with your nursing home costs.

Each program has different Medicaid eligibility requirements and varying functional Medicaid benefits, which often differ based on marital status. Benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Institutional and nursing home facilities
  • Medicaid Waivers for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) including aid provided in adult day care, assisted living, and the home
  • Regular Medicaid for Aged Blind and Disabled (ABD) for assistance at home or adult daycare

Consulting with a qualified law firm can help you find the answers you need to make Colorado Medicaid planning an easy option.

 

How to Apply for Medicaid in Colorado

Several community-based services can explain how to apply for Medicaid in Colorado, including the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Many applications can be filled out in person or online and often are followed by an interview.

Qualifying for Medicaid in Colorado

 

Qualifying for Medicaid in ColoradoTo determine whether you are qualifying for Medicaid in Colorado, you should keep in mind that there are specific requirements. You must be any one of the following:

  • Colorado state resident
  • Legal alien
  • Permanent resident 
  • U.S. national citizen

You may also qualify if you require assistance with health care or insurance, and you meet certain income-based qualifying requirements with a low or very low income. 

 

Who Is Eligible for Medicaid in Colorado?

A state agency determines who is eligible for Medicaid in Colorado. You must also meet one of the following requirements:

  • Age 65 years or older
  • Blind
  • Disabled or with a household family member with a disability
  • Pregnant or responsible for a minor child

Since the regulations regarding these eligibility requirements are subject to alteration, it is wise to consult with legal counsel to get information on recent changes. 

What Are the Colorado Medicaid Income Requirements?

 

Colorado Medicaid Income RequirementsBased on Colorado Medicaid income requirements, you must meet strict asset and income guidelines. In Colorado, any income you receive is counted, and your countable assets shouldn’t total more than $2,000.

Assets include checking, investments, and savings accounts. Exempt assets include:

  • Life insurance
  • Principal residence
  • Some personal property
  • Vehicle

However, some individuals will have to spend down their assets and savings if they are considered well-off for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Since the average monthly cost in an assisted living facility is over $7,000, they may have to deplete their resources before qualifying for Medicaid. Elder law attorneys can help you determine whether you are Medicaid eligible and assist you in meeting the requirements.

 

Colorado Asset Requirements for Medicaid Recipients

Generally, when one spouse requires a nursing home Medicaid or HCBS Medicaid waiver, only their assets and income are assessed for eligibility. This allows the other spouse to keep exempt amounts under the Community Spouse Resource Allowance and prevents them from losing all their assets. In 2020, the limit was set at $128,640 in Colorado.

For regular Medicaid eligibility, the state calculates the income of both spouses.

 

Navigating Colorado Medicaid Income Guidelines

There are certain Colorado Medicaid income guidelines that a local law firm can explain to you. For example, many people don’t realize that assessed income includes:

  • Alimony payments
  • Employment wages
  • IRA withdrawals
  • Pension payments
  • Railroad retirement annuities
  • Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
  • Social Security Income (SSI)
  • Stock dividends
  • Veteran’s benefits

Hire an attorney with whom you can develop a strong attorney-client relationship for a free consultation and proper Colorado Medicaid planning.

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