Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Medicaid vs. Veterans Pensions? Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home? Are these even the right questions?

We often let the volume of email questions we receive guide our content development priorities.  There are two questions we receive nearly every day and both of similar themes.  The first question is which is the better option financially Medicaid or VA Aid and Attendance?   The second question is which is the better option for a loved one assisted living or a nursing home?

These are difficult questions and there is no single answer for either.  In publishing our recent articles we have attempted to help families with these decisions in two ways.  First by presenting the facts about each option and second by presenting the consideration factors which need to be applied to their specific situation.  For example, for practical purposes Medicaid and the Aid and Attendance pension benefit are mutually exclusive options.  It is a choice, one option or the other.  Persons who could be eligible for both need to decide between them and a major factor that needs to be considered is the type of care they require or desire; assisted living, home care or nursing home care.  Another factor is the immediacy of need. Medicaid's approval process is relatively quick while veterans might wait as long as two years to begin receiving their pensions.  Fortunately, payments are retro-active once the application has been approved.

Our intent is not to reproduce the articles on this blog, so we will keep this post relatively short.  However there is one thing we should add which we don't stress in the articles.  Most people are asking "should I apply for Medicaid or a veteran's pension?"  We feel the question should be "how do I plan so I can be eligible for either?".  The same applies to the assisted living vs. nursing home question.  It is very likely that if one type of care is required, the other type will also be necessary at some point.  One should plan for both.