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Not Old Enough For Medicare? How To Avoid Problems When Applying For Long-Term Medicaid Coverage

by Stella Robinson

If you're going to be requiring long-term medical assistance that you can't afford, it's time to apply for medicaid. This is particularly true if you're not eligible for medicare yet. Medicaid will give you the long-term coverage you need to provide for your medical care. The process for applying for medicaid benefits can be confusing, and time-consuming. It's important that you understand the process before you begin. It's also important that you avoid making costly mistakes. Here are four steps you can take that will help you avoid trouble while applying for medicaid.

Provide All the Documentation

Your local medicaid officials are going to ask for a lot of documents from you. It's important that you provide them with everything they ask for, and in a timely manner. They're going to want documentation for all your assets, and your debts. They'll also want information regarding your employment history, and any retirement accounts you may have access to. Even if you haven't begun using your retirement accounts, you'll still need to provide the medicaid office with all the documents for those accounts.

Don't Transfer Assets

If you're going to be applying for medicaid benefits, they'll look at your current assets, including money in your bank accounts, and property you own. Because medicaid is based on eligibility, they'll want to make sure that you don't have too much income. Don't be tempted to transfer assets to your friends or family. Transferring too many of your assets could end up costing you your eligibility. If you're worried that your assets will cause problems with your eligibility, speak to an attorney who deals with elder law. They can help you find ways to protect your assets, avoid legal troubles, and improve your chances of receiving the medicaid benefits you need.

Understand the Documents You Receive

During the application process, you'll receive quite a few documents from the medicaid office. Most of the documents will be requests for paperwork, or for scheduled appointments. Make sure you read, and understand, everything you receive from them. If you miss an appointment, or don't understand the paperwork, you could jeopardize your eligibility. If you find anything confusing, be sure to call your eligibility worker to request clarification.

Don't Take No For an Answer

If your application for long-term medicaid is denied, don't take no for an answer. You have the right to appeal the decision, and that's exactly what you'll need to do. During the appeals process, they'll look at your entire application process before making a final determination.