The 3 Biggest Mistakes in Alzheimer’s Care

MISTAKES IN ALZHEIMER'S CARE

Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright,  A New Jersey Alzheimers and Dementia Attorney

As you are aware from reading our site, Medicaid helps certain “qualified individuals” pay for long-term care costs.

The Federal government provides this assistance to individuals that lack the money/assets to pay for the care themselves. Every year, the Federal government provides around 50% – 80% of costs for the NJ Medicaid program, with the State picking up the remainder of the tab.

If you have kept up with current events, you are likely aware that both the Federal and State government are almost broke as a result of reckless spending over past years. Unfortunately, one of the places the government see as a possibility to cut funding is Medicaid. They view Medicaid as a benefit that many families don’t actually need. However, the government is often wrong, as most average, middle class families with a senior member often do need the program’s assistance. To these families, Medicaid is a necessity, not a simple benefit that they can do without.

Medicaid covers 50% of the nursing home costs in the Unites States, as very few families have $11,000 per month to spend on long-term care for their elderly family member. Even further complicating things is the fact that the Medicare government program does not cover most nursing home costs, leaving Medicaid as the main contributor to paying for such care.

Medicaid rules are extremely complicated, as you are probably aware. As a result, very few professionals actually know the rules pertaining to Medicaid Eligibility in New Jersey. Just as only a tax expert knows the ins and outs of tax law and how to keep your taxes as low as possible, the same applies to Medicaid. At Hanlon Niemann, our Medicaid and Elder Care professionals are focused on Elder care, Medicaid, VA benefits, estate planning, and disability laws. We are well aware of the rules in NJ that help our clients save money and protect them from spending more than necessary when applying to Medicaid for financial assistance. We can help you navigate your way through the Medicaid maze while protecting your finances and assets.

There are three main mistakes relating to Medicaid that people often make. Many times, avoiding these simple mistakes can help you save a ton of money.

Mistake #1 – Allowing a Nursing Home Employee, Social Worker or State Medicaid Employee Complete Your Medicaid Application

Unfortunately, many make the mistake of assuming people that work with Medicaid patients and the system are trained to complete applications properly. This misconception results in families losing money. You need a trained, qualified guide that has experience with Medicaid to ensure you qualify. Don’t fall victim to the government by rushing to the state Medicaid office and quickly filling out a form. When this is the case, the state knows they can lock you in. Please come see me before filling out any Medicaid forms. I can advise you as to the best way to qualify for Medicaid while protecting your hard earned finances. Don’t let the state take advantage of your lack of knowledge by having you fill out a form that you don’t even know the rules for.

Mistake #2 – Listening to Advice From Unqualified Individuals

Medicaid seems to be one of those subjects that almost everyone claims to know something about. You may have heard something along the lines of, “Don’t even bother applying for Medicaid now, because they will look back on your finances five years and you definitely won’t qualify.” While Medicaid does have a five-year look back period, this doesn’t always preclude you from applying and qualifying. Don’t automatically assume there is nothing you can do to help your family pay for long-term care of a loved one.

Always inquire as to the qualifications of the person advising you on the Medicaid application. Too many times I have heard from clients that have received assistance from someone when filling out their forms only to find out later that their advisor has no experience in the matter. At Hanlon Niemann, our Elder Law Attorneys have experience in Medicaid rules and represent clients every day in applying for Medicaid.

Don’t assume that everyone giving you bad advice is out to scam you. Most of the time those people giving advice have only the best intentions. This includes lawyers, accountants, staff members at the nursing home, social workers, and even Medicaid employees themselves. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t always translate into good advice. The best possible resource is a qualified elder law attorney that has knowledge and experience in both New Jersey and Federal Medicaid rules.

Applying the specific facts from your situation and figuring out your options is what we do here at Hanlon Niemann. We deal with clients every month that hire us to assist them in their Elder Care situation. Allow us to deal with the State so you don’t have to. While we can’t promise you everything we’d like to, we can nonetheless show you how our legal services may save you money. If they won’t, we will tell you that as well, even if it costs us business. We are here to help guide you in the right direction.

Mistake #3 – Attempting to Deal With Medicaid Yourself

Dealing with the State is an intimidating and frightening experience. This can put a significant burden on anyone’s shoulders. Let us lighten the load on you, as you already have enough to deal with from caring for your loved one. We will sit down with the Medicaid officials and discuss your situation so you don’t have to. Since we are aware of the rules and regulations, we are able to answer all of their questions in a proper manner, advocating for your rights. If we give you advice on saving money or protecting your finances, we highlight this advice in our discussions with the Medicaid caseworkers.

Don’t make a crucial mistake that can cost you money. Let me help you avoid making any further mistakes, including the ones listed above and others. I understand this is a difficult period of your life. Allow me to take some of the burden off of your shoulders.

Fred Niemann, New Jersey Alzheimer's & Dementia Lawyer

Fred Niemann, New Jersey Alzheimer’s & Dementia Lawyer

Please contact me, Fredrick P. Niemann,

toll-free at (855) 376-5291

or email me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.

I am very approachable, caring, easy to talk to, and have experience in Medicaid matters.

Please allow me the opportunity to assist you. I welcome all of your inquiries.