Some States Seek to Tighten Medicaid for Nursing Home Care
Posted Apr 3, 2012 12:41 PM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Some states facing tight budgets are proposing cuts in Medicaid reimbursements for nursing home care, while others are trying new ways to get reimbursement from the estates of people who used the program for their long-term care.
Some states are considering cuts to Medicaid payments for routine dental care in nursing homes and for adult day-health programs, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some are making it more difficult to qualify by requiring a greater need for help with daily living activities.
Nine other states, including New York, are “tinkering with ways” to recover Medicaid expenses from estates, the story says.
In most states, people cannot qualify for Medicaid if they have more than $2,000 in assets, a house and a car, the story says. Some states will allow the elderly to shift their money to annuities to qualify; others won’t.
States also differ on how many assets one elderly spouse can hold while the other uses Medicaid for nursing home care, the Wall Street Journal Total Return blog reports. In Texas, for example, the well spouse can have $1.2 million. In Arkansas, the limit is $113,000.