Many people misunderstand what emergency Medicaid is, or how Medicaid works for getting care costs covered in an emergency situation. There is an emergency Medicaid program, but it does not do what you might assume- provide medical coverage quickly in an emergency situation. Instead, as Health Policy Ohio explains, emergency Medicaid allows a non-qualified alien who would otherwise be ineligible for Medicaid under its residency requirements to get qualified for Medicaid under certain specific circumstances.
This does not mean that Ohio residents cannot ever get Medicaid to pay their medical bills quickly if an emergency arises. However, you need to know how Medicaid eligibility rules actually work and when coverage begins so you can make informed choices about when and how to apply for Medicaid coverage.
Zimmer Law Firm can assist you with understanding how Medicaid works and can help you to take steps to ensure that you are actually able to get qualified for Medicaid benefits when you require care. To find out more about how our legal team can assist you with Medicaid planning and to learn more about why getting covered by Medicaid can be so important, give us a call.
Can You Get Emergency Medicaid Coverage When You Experience a Medical Emergency?
Emergency Medicaid is a specific program that applies only to provide Medicaid access to otherwise ineligible aliens in appropriate situations. For anyone else who is attempting to obtain Medicaid coverage, even when a medical emergency has arisen, you must follow the standard process for applying for Medicaid coverage. This can differ depending upon which Medicaid program you are applying for.
According to Medicaid.gov, you will typically be eligible for benefits beginning either on the date when you applied for benefits or beginning on the first day of the month when you applied for benefits. Under certain circumstances, if you were eligible for Medicaid before you applied for coverage, it is possible that you could get retroactive benefits dating back up to three months prior to the time when you actually applied to get covered.
This means that if you were eligible for benefits at the time when you experienced a medical emergency, but you were not yet actually covered by Medicaid yet, Medicaid could still pay for your healthcare that you received. You should not wait to apply for benefits if you are eligible, though, because you never know when a medical emergency could arise and it will be easier to ensure that your care costs are covered if you already have Medicaid at the time when you require healthcare services.
How to Plan Ahead to Get Medicaid Coverage
The key to being able to actually qualify for Medicaid so you are protected when you need care is to understand Medicaid qualification requirements. Not only are there maximum income limits, but you could also be subject to limitations on the amount of resources that you are allowed to own and still get covered.
If you have too many assets and this is preventing you from qualifying for Medicaid, you may have no choice but to pay out-of-pocket for care that is not covered, such as nursing home care which isn’t paid for by Medicare or by most insurers except in very limited situations. Paying yourself for costly medical services can quickly reduce your nest egg. This process is called spending down assets. Once you’ve spent down enough assets that you no longer have too many resources to qualify for Medicaid, then you can apply for benefits and Medicaid will start covering you and paying for your care.
You can avoid this if you act early, well before you need Medicaid, and work with a Medicaid planning lawyer to protect your assets. Zimmer Law Firm can explain to you how the Medicaid spend down process works and can help you to find ways to protect as many of your assets and as much of your wealth as possible.
Getting Help from A Cincinnati Medicaid Planning Lawyer
A Cincinnati Medicaid planning lawyer at Zimmer Law Firm can provide you with invaluable assistance in taking necessary legal steps to protect your assets in case you require Medicaid coverage for nursing home care or for other costly care services. To find out more about why Medicaid planning is so important, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 513.721.1513 to talk with an experienced attorney about making your personalized Medicaid plan. Call today so we can get started ensuring you’ll be able to get covered for care when you need it.