Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
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An overview of Medicaid facts

New York residents may worry about their medical care as they age, especially if they have limited financial resources for insurance and related out-of-pocket costs. However, Medicaid provides a great deal of support not only for the aging population but also for many disabled individuals, children, and others. Statistics indicate that an estimated 5 million elderly Americans are assisted by this program.

The passage of the Affordable Care Act has made it possible for Medicaid to further expand insurance coverage throughout the nation, reducing the number of uninsured individuals by a significant amount. It is anticipated that coverage will continue to be extended to at least 14 million more individuals over the next four years. At least 65 percent of low-income families eligible for benefits are estimated to be currently participating, and nearly 88 percent of eligible children are enrolled in related programs.

For those who are eligible, Medicaid may be able to increase access and quality of care, especially among those who struggle with chronic health conditions. Estimates indicate that at least 40 percent of eligible participants in one state that was studied were less likely to deal with worsening health because of their use of the system. Medicaid is also credited with helping a large number of participants to get out of poverty. Further, medical debt is less of a problem for those who make use of their Medicaid benefits. Medicaid planning can be an important consideration for those who are facing challenging financial circumstances in their retirement years.

People may want to have advice on issues such as Medicaid, asset protection and trust options for ensuring that their physical needs are effectively handled late in life. An elder law attorney may provide recommendations for safeguarding assets and determining who will handle a client's financial matters in the event of subsequent incapacity.

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