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Recent articles in The New York Times and The Washington Post have discussed provisions in President Obama’s economic stimulus program to provide Medicaid eligibility for those who’ve lost their jobs and can’t afford health care coverage. Details are still being hammered out. According to the articles, the new legislation will allow states to offer Medicaid benefits temporarily to unemployed residents, with the Federal government footing the entire bill.

Individuals who are hit hardest by job and insurance loss are those suffering from chronic illness and disability. In a significant number of instances, the absence of affordable insurance results in their abandoning pursuit of consistent medical care. Regular doctor visits and refilling of needed prescriptions falls by the wayside. Other pay for care out of their own pockets, depleting whatever savings and other financial assets they’ve accumulated.

Fortunately, there is a silver lining in the cloud of unaffordable insurance for many people and their families, who often suffer under the financial strain. With effective Elder Law planning, you can achieve eligibility for Medicaid benefits right now. It may be unnecessary to wait for the government programs that are to eventually be made available thorough the economic stimulus legislation.

Additionally, if you are currently well and facing the prospect of expensive insurance costs due to being laid off, it’s an excellent time to get the facts and take advantage of advance Medicaid planning. Many workers who have investments, homes and other assets believe that because of their financial profile they cannot qualify for Medicaid. Yet it is possible to qualify, and, by taking steps now, you gain the benefit of protecting a larger portion of your assets than would otherwise be possible.

While each person’s situation is unique, you can get a comprehensive overview of Medicaid planning on Lamson and Cutner’s special situation-specific page for applicants here. Once you’re there, be sure to read the firm’s new report on successfully applying for Medicaid, 25 Strategies to Prevent Financial Ruin from Long-Term Health Care Costs.

Links to Articles:

The New York Times

The Washington Post

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