Recognize avoidable mistakes that can delay MassHealth approvals

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | elder law

Cost is one of the biggest concerns for Massachusetts residents getting long-term care for elderly people who need it. Fortunately, MassHealth makes it easier for people to get that vital care while simultaneously protecting their assets.

However, people might make missteps or fail to understand the entire process when applying. This leads to avoidable mistakes that cause a delay in getting approved or result in an outright denial. Recognizing those mistakes is essential to avoiding them. If the claim is denied, then there are options to try and get an approval.

Why might MassHealth applications be denied for long-term care?

When considering an application, MassHealth will need to know the facts about a person’s income and assets. Individuals can have up to $2,000 in assets. Couples who reside together can have up to $3,000. People might not realize that any assets they have amassed could be countable and do not take steps to mitigate them when they are seeking long-term care for a loved one.

For example, if there is a bank account, stocks, bonds and real property, these will be counted when the case is assessed and the decision is made whether to approve the MassHealth application. Knowing the difference between countable and non-countable assets is also critical because people might make the mistake of selling or transferring an asset that would not be counted anyway.

Owning a home in the state would be countable and a lien would be placed on it unless it is a former home and a spouse, a sibling, a disabled child, a blind child or a child under 21 lives there. If one of these factors are in place, then it is non-countable. One vehicle per household, life insurance policies, burial plots and money for burial up to $1,500 are non-countable.

These are basic requirements for getting MassHealth for long-term care. Other reasons why a claim might be denied could be related to simply not giving all the information that is needed for an approval to be made or missing crucial documents.

Adhering to the rules can help with getting approved

Given the financial, personal and health-related consequences that accompany a person needing long-term care, MassHealth approval can make a major difference to the future. Those who have their application delayed or denied need to know why and what options are available to them to get benefits.

These cases can be complex, but there are simple errors that can be easily rectified by fully understanding the entire process and what is necessary. When there are more challenging issues standing in the way of an approval, it is even more vital to know what can be done. This is key with any area of elder law, particularly MassHealth for long-term care.