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Could a Medicaid spend down help pay for assisted living?

Many people may think of nursing homes when they hear about an assisted living facility, but the two are not quite the same. Assisted living facilities are usually not equipped with the same level of medical care that is available in a nursing home, and instead focus on helping residents live independently. They sometimes offer different kinds of care depending on the needs of a resident, but a more advanced level of care also increases the cost.

If family members or home care staff are unable to help care for an aging loved one at home, moving them into an assisted living facility can be a good option. It gives them a chance to live with other seniors while providing the help they need to go about their daily lives. Unfortunately, such living facilities can become quite expensive.

Managing the cost

Medicaid, a program run through a combination of both the state and federal governments, can help with the costs of assisted living. To qualify for Medicaid, a senior must meet certain financial requirements

Even if a senior owns too many assets or receives a large monthly income over the limits set by Medicaid, they may still be able to become eligible for the program with some smart planning.  For married couples such planning can often preserve all of the couple's assets.  For single folks, strategic planning can often save one-half or more of their remaining assets, even in a crisis. 

Not all states allow Medicaid to go towards assisted living. Luckily, Colorado is one of the few that see the value in helping seniors get the care they need while retaining a degree of independence. To be able to use Medicaid to cover some assisted living costs in the state, you must find a facility that is "Medicaid certified". That means they have met the requirements outlined by the state and are able to accept Medicaid as a form of payment.

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