An elder law attorney can help you to take steps to ensure that you are able to afford medical care if you get sick, hurt, or suffer from age-related infirmities. Many people face difficulty paying medical bills and other healthcare costs, especially if nursing home care becomes necessary. Qualifying for Medicaid could help to ensure that bills are covered but gaining access to these means-tested benefits could mean spending all your money and losing some of your assets unless you are able to make a Medicaid plan.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates has provided assistance to many people in creating a Medicaid plan to protect assets and get the care coverage they need. Unfortunately, many people do still continue to struggle to afford the costs of essential medical care.
As NBC Connecticut reports, some hospitals are taking steps to help those who cannot afford to pay for their care costs. The assistance the hospitals are providing could mean the difference between financial disaster for many patients.
Hospitals Help Connecticut Patients Get Medical Care
According to NBC Connecticut, millions of adults either did not get the medical care they needed or delayed getting medical care in 2016 as a direct result of concerns about how much that care would cost. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that hospitals in Connecticut have financial assistance programs that could make it affordable for them to get care.
A financial counselor at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center told NBC Connecticut that many families wrongfully assume that they will not be able to qualify for financial assistance. Because they think they won’t qualify, they do not even ask about it – which can be a mistake because most families qualify for at least some kind of help.
According to the financial counselor, when families ask about financial assistance, the hospital will first screen the family to see if they could be eligible for expanded Medicaid benefits in Connecticut. It is possible that some people seeking care will qualify for Medicaid, even if they have primary insurance coverage.
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, as well as other hospitals in the Connecticut area, typically make their offers of assistance based on household income and based on family size. If a family has an income that is around 2.5 times the federal poverty level or that is below that level, the family could qualify for 100 percent assistance for paying for the costs of medical bills. For families who have incomes between 200 percent of the federal poverty level and 500 percent of the poverty level, assistance is available to cover 45 percent of costs.
Patients who don’t qualify for financial assistance and who do not have health insurance will also write down a part of the hospital expenses. “If you do not qualify for the financial assistance and you are a true self-pay, which means you don’t have medical insurance, automatically we do a 40 percent write-off on your hospital bill,” the financial counselor told NBC Connecticut.
While this was just one particular financial counselor sharing the experience at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, NBC Connecticut investigated the policies at other hospitals within the state and found that it is standard for care to be covered under similar circumstances.
The financial counselor who spoke to NBC Connecticut recommended that patients or their families have a discussion about costs of care prior to a patient’s first appointment at the care facility. She advised patients to call right away, not hesitate to ask about whether they qualify or not. She also said that even for patients who do not qualify for any type of assistance, the hospital will work with them to set up a payment plan so the account does not end up going to collections.
Getting Help from an Elder Law Attorney
While these programs can help to make hospital care more affordable, other care costs, such as for nursing home care, can still be very expensive. It is important to understand your options for qualifying for benefits and, in most cases, it is important to make a Medicaid plan so you can get Medicaid to cover you if you need costly care.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can help. To find out how an elder law attorney at our firm can assist you in getting the care you need, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to talk with a compassionate and knowledgeable member of our legal team.
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