Many people who come to the United States hoping for a better life do not qualify for long-term elder care. Fortunately, MassHealth is about to change that. As of Nov. 1., immigrants who do not have lawful permanent resident status can qualify for long-term care coverage under MassHealth.
A new policy and new hope
Under the insurance provider’s previous policy, non-citizens could receive medical coverage under MassHealth, but only immigrants who held green cards could receive long-term care. This proved incredibly difficult for older immigrants who needed a higher level of care from nursing homes, assisted living facilities or hospitals. In mid-Oct., representatives from MassHealth announced that it would expand its long-term care coverage for immigrants who do not have permanent resident status.
In addition to providing much-needed health care services, it provides hope to thousands of people who otherwise could not afford long-term care. It makes the future brighter for elderly immigrants as well as their loved ones who will know that the seniors they love have the coverage they need.
How the new policy will affect MassHealth planning
Massachusetts residents will have to incorporate the new policy into their long-term care planning. Previously, MassHealth would cover only 100 days of a stay in a care facility. After that, patients had to find their own source of payment. Now, it will cover up to six months. Patients who require additional long-term care after that period can enroll in other MassHealth plans that cover it.
This provides policyholders with extra disposable income to put toward other aspects of their care, like transportation or other out-of-pocket expenses. Even with the additional months of care covered by insurance, it is crucial to have long-term care planning strategies in place to maximize one’s finances and provide for the care that the elderly need.