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During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, or PHE, emergency rules kept benefits in place for nursing home Medicaid recipients through automatic extensions of coverage.  With the federal PHE set to expire on April 16, 2022, Maryland will soon start terminating Medicaid benefits, locally known as Maryland Medical Assistance benefits, for folks who received these automatic extensions. Maryland Department of Health, or MDH, has stated that automatic Medicaid renewals will end April 30, 2022.  So what happens next for Maryland’s nursing home Medicaid beneficiaries?

Unfortunately, if a Maryland nursing home resident received an automatic extension of their Medicaid benefits during the crisis, they likely received a confusing notice from MDH about their eligibility. During the PHE, Medical Assistance Program notices often advised a recipient that their benefits remained in place, while simultaneously making other demands to maintain eligibility.  Some notices warned the beneficiary that they had a deadline of 30 days after the PHE ends to produce information to verify their continuing eligibility for benefits.  Other confusing Medicaid notices proclaimed that the nursing home beneficiary had too much money to qualify and would have to repay the State of Maryland to maintain Medicaid coverage.  For disabled nursing home residents, the clock is ticking on their obligation to comply with MDH’s confusing Medicaid eligibility demands.

If you or your loved one received a notice from MDH that requests additional information, you must gather substantial information from outside sources, like your bank, former employer, pension company, life insurance company, and funeral home.  Collecting the demanded verifications can be daunting, especially for nursing home residents and their families in crisis. Powers of attorney or guardianships may be needed to obtain the information that MDH requires.

If MDH warned that you have too much money to qualify for ongoing benefits, at a minimum, you should scrutinize whether MDH accurately calculated assets.  Medicaid eligibility rules that allow some funds protected status may have been missed—to your detriment.  You may also have alternatives to surrendering money to the State, while still protecting your Medicaid eligibility.

Senior-Legal can help you meet your ongoing Maryland Medical Assistance long-term care eligibility requirements to maintain coverage.  Senior-Legal can also help you protect money you saved during the Covid-19 crisis.  Call Senior-Legal today for a free initial consultation.