It is not easy to see a parent’s physical and mental health decline, whether it happens gradually or suddenly. Adult children can find it very troubling to think about a parent’s medical needs and whether they can afford the care they deserve.
Often, parties worry about whether their parent will need to spend down their assets or live somewhere with substandard care if they must go to a nursing home. Thus, knowing if Medicaid is going to cover a parent’s long-term care needs can be crucial.
Who is eligible?
It can be helpful to know if your parent qualifies for Medicaid in the first place. In Colorado, there are different programs for which a person over 65 years old may be eligible, making eligibility more complicated.
Your parent may qualify for one or more Medicaid programs based on their age, income, care needs and marital status. This article provides a more comprehensive look at who is eligible for the different programs in this state.
Has your parent completed any planning?
It is also crucial to know if your parent has done any advanced planning to preserve assets, minimize penalties and secure Medicaid eligibility.
There are several ways a parent might have done this, including utilizing estate planning strategies. For instance, people can establish trusts and give gifts long before the need for long-term care arises. Some of these strategies can allow individuals to preserve familial wealth without compromising their eligibility for Medicaid.
Parents may also have done their research into their desired care facilities and services. They may have specific wishes to stay in their own houses as long as possible or receive care at a particular nursing home. They may have already set aside funds to fulfill their wishes, as well.
Exploring the options sooner, rather than later
Your parent’s well-being and quality of life can depend on the financial and medical support they receive when they are sick.
Thus, it can be wise for parents to get planning help. And it can be wise for you to talk to them about their decisions. Doing so before it is too late can help your family make difficult decisions and transitions a little easier.