Medicaid Counseling in Oregon

Family members often find themselves needing to place an aging spouse or parent outside the home, often for the safety of the ill family member, as the result of a fall or a stroke, or due to the exhaustion of a caregiving spouse or adult caregiving child.

Fortunately for Oregonians living in the Portland metro area, in addition to nursing homes, other long-term care options outside the home exist, namely Adult Foster Care Homes (for a useful .pdf booklet prepared by the Oregon Dept. of Human Services, see https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/de9033.pdf) and Residential Care Facilities.  Whether a particular individual is suited to living in these alternatives to a nursing home depends on many factors.

Unfortunately, the high cost of long-term care comes as a shock to many families.  (See, for example, Genworth’s 2013 cost of care online tool, https://www.genworth.com/corporate/about-genworth/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html.)  The second shock for many is that the Medicare program pays, if at all, for only a short period of long-term care.

Another government program, the Medicaid program (not Medicare, but Medicaid), may help pay for the cost of long-term care for those who are disabled enough, “poor” enough, and meet other program eligibility requirements.  Medicaid is a joint federal and state government program, which means some of the eligibility rules are different from state to state.  Most of Oregon’s Medicaid eligibility rules are found in the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs).  http://www.dhs.state.or.us/policy/selfsufficiency/ar_search.htm

A word of warning:  Many Medicaid program applicants are denied Medicaid assistance because they made gifts of money or property (“asset transfers”) within a certain time period (in 2014, 60 months) immediately preceding the date of request for Medicaid.  In other words, giving away money or property to become “poor” enough to qualify for Medicaid is generally a bad strategy.

Attorney Kristianne Cox offers Medicaid Counseling appointments, where she explains the Oregon Medicaid eligibility rules, and analyzes, based on the financial documents that a client brings to the office appointment, whether the Medicaid applicant is likely to qualify for the Oregon Medicaid program.