When you need assistance paying for long-term medical care, help cannot come soon enough. Medicaid is often the best option for people who need help paying for their care, but like any government program, you have to jump through a few hoops to get and stay eligible for it.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that, together with the Children’s Health Insurance Program, provides health coverage to over 72.5 million Americans, including seniors and individuals with disabilities. Medicaid is the single largest source of health coverage in the United States, and a primary funder of long-term care.

It is a mean-tested program, so many people must “spend down” or move assets around in order to qualify for Medicaid. J.S. Burton is skilled at helping Virginia residents meet all of the various financial eligibility requirements without being penalized.

Applying for Medicaid

Medicaid is funded jointly by the federal government and each state, but it is run on a day-to-day basis by the states. People in Virginia who want to apply for Medicaid must do so at a local office. Click here to find an office near you, or to apply online.

You may apply for Medicaid coverage yourself, or you may designate another person, such as a family member or attorney to apply for you. If someone else apples for you, that person must be familiar with your situation, be able to answer all eligibility questions, and have access to your financial records. You obviously need to pick someone you can trust with sensitive information to help you with your application or do it on your behalf.

How long does it take to get benefits?

The government has 45 days to process your application once it is deemed complete. However, if the application requires a disability determination, the agency can take 90 days. Incomplete applications can take much longer to be approved, or be denied outright.

Once the government decides you are eligible for Medicaid, coverage is effective either on the date of application or the first day of the month of application. Benefits may also be retroactively applied for the 3 months prior to the month of application, if you would have been eligible during that period if you had applied. Coverage generally stops at the end of the month in which you no longer meet the eligibility requirements.

You don’t have to do this alone.

If you need help applying for Medicaid or meeting the eligibility requirements, do not hesitate to contact J.S. Burton. He regularly works with clients on Medicaid-related matters, allowing them to maintain control of their assets and to preserve them for the benefit of loved ones, while still qualifying for Medicaid. He also has lots of experience assisting clients with the application itself to ensure it is deemed complete and processed in a timely manner.