HellBill » Hell Bill Area: » Bill Payment » the pros and cons of Medicaid

  #1 (permalink)
: This question regards Medicaid in the state of Iowa.

Right now my grandpa is in the hospital because of pneumonia and a slight heart attack. Before going into the hospital, he was at a nursing home receiving rehabilitation services. He has Medicare but he is currently paying $6,000 a month out of his pocket for a private room. In about 4 or 5 months all his savings will be gone. He also has an $11,000 bill for another place that he will be having to pay out of pocket. It also doesn't matter if he is even at the current place because in order to hold a bed in his current room, he must pay for that. The people at the business office tell us that once his money runs out he will have to move to a semi-private room. This is a sad reality, but if he isn't strong enough to go home he will probably have to stay at the nursing home. However, we are trying to find alternatives to Medicaid. We are uncomfortable with applying for Medicaid for the following reasons:
- The loss of freedom over his money and his choice of room (private vs. semi-private).
- We don't even know if he will qualify for Medicaid and applying for it could be a long drawn out process.

Here are some things I've heard (not just with elderly people living in nursing homes receiving Medicaid but with younger people receiving Medicaid):
- An elderly person living in a nursing home will have to surrender their checks to the nursing home but will get to keep a small portion of it. The business office people have informed us of this as well.
- The nursing home gets their checks plus payment from Medicaid.
- Good doctors won't take Medicaid.
- A person must wait to see a doctor.

I am just wondering what the pros and cons of being on Medicaid are. Please, if someone could explain the pros and cons or talk from experience, that would really help. Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)
: Medicaid is a welfare medical benefit designed to help poor people who have no assets or money of their own. It is not designed to make things easier for those that do not want to spend their own money. There are no cons with medicaid, as something is better than nothing!
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  #3 (permalink)
: There is no alternative to using Medicaid except to keep paying from his savings. It costs over $5000 a month in a nursing home anywhere. He can apply for Medicaid because they will pay for it plus use his Social Security except for a few dollars. There are no private rooms when Medicaid pays. Considering the cost is over $5000 a month, you are getting a bargain. Whatever doctors are in the nursing home see all patients no matter what their financial status is. When you are in a nursing home, you dont go outside to a doctor. You use the doctors who are there. Keep in mind that many nursing homes are not that good that accept Medicaid. Not all do.
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  #4 (permalink)
: - He'll be able to keep about $40 per month out of his check.

- In most states it doesn't really go to the home but instead into the state's Medicaid fund, and then the home is paid out of those funds. The state will also place a lien on his property. He'll be required to use up all savings, IRA's, pension funds, cash value life insurance, and other assets before qualifying for Medicaid. He'll be able to keep one car, basic household furnishings, a wedding ring, and income producing property (although he must forfeit the income from that property).

- Some good doctors do take Medicaid, but they'll usually limit the number of Medicaid patients they see because they don't get paid much. Some doctors actually don't bill Medicaid for the services rendered because it cost more to bill the state than they receive.

- People must wait to see any doctor, but the wait is longer for most Medicaid doctors.

- This is the reason that Long Term Care Insurance is so important. Does the rest of the family have a policy in place?
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  #5 (permalink)
: Medicaid is damn expensive. On average, each person receiving Medicaid, costs the taxpayer in Iowa $700 a month. Because of that, it's intended for POOR PEOPLE. Once your grandpa is poor - ie, he's run through all of his money, and has sold all his assets, then he applies for Medicaid, and the working taxpayers will foot the bill.

When the family is uncomfortable enough with "free" welfare services, to decide to chip in an dpony up the $6000 a month it costs to remain in private care, then he'll have private care.

The pro is, grandpa gets "free" nursing home care. The con is, Medicaid then owns his social security check and house and life insurance and bank accounts, up to the amount his bills are.
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  #6 (permalink)
: The pro is that he gets to stay in the nursing home and you (his family) don't have to pay for it.

Being on medicaid does not mean that he cannot have a private room. What they meant was that medicaid won't pay for a private room. If you want him to have one, you can pay for it, out of your own pocket.

Losing control of his money is not a consequence of being on medicaid. It is something that is going to happen either way. Even if he does not go on medicaid, he is going to have to spend all his money to pay the nursing home and the other $11,000 bill, so he is not going to keep control of it.
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  #7 (permalink)
: Medicaid is a social welfare health and medical services program for low income individuals and families.
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