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Seniors ineligible for Medicaid struggle to get proper care

Elderly people in New York are encountering a problematic irony that is common in jurisdictions across the world: they are not poor enough to qualify for the state-funded system that will help them, but not wealthy enough to afford private services either. In this circumstance, we are talking about Medicaid, the joint state-federal health care program for those with low income and resources.

The situation illustrates why Medicaid planning is so vital. On May 22, a gathering of seniors, home care workers and advocates took place outside City Hall in New York City demanding more funding and improved services for elderly people. As a result of the lack of funds, New York’s Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program only provides services to 3,000 people out of 77,000 people in the city who need them. The aim of the program is to look after those citizens who live on such a low income that they cannot afford home care, but are still above the poverty threshold for Medicaid benefits.

Research shows that the demand for home care is growing and that two-thirds of those over 65 will require long-term care at some stage, and 90 percent of elderly people in New York would prefer to receive home care.

The chair of the Aging Committee, has said, “We are calling on the city and the state to begin planning over the next few years for programs that would cover thousands of seniors who are not covered by Medicaid.”

Lawyers who are experienced in Medicaid planning may be able to alleviate these problems in some circumstances. A proper Medicaid strategy created by an attorney with a working knowledge of Medicaid law can help even those with assets that are substantial to qualify for Medicaid assistance in certain cases. 

Source: Epoch Times, “Advocates Demand Increased Funding for Senior Care,” Venus Upadhayaya, May 22, 2014 

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