Unlocking Hidden Benefits: How Medicaid Expansion is Changing the Game for Veterans’ Health Care

Unlocking Hidden Benefits: How Medicaid Expansion is Changing the Game for Veterans’ Health Care

Veterans of all branches of the United States military have throughout the country’s history endangered themselves and sacrificed huge amounts of time and energy to ensure that the freedoms all American citizens enjoy are protected. Committing to service in any branch of the armed forces means leaving one’s family and friends behind to fulfill contractual obligations. The United States, with gratitude for the sacrifices made by service men and women and their families, has created many organizations to provide services and benefits to both active duty and retired members of the armed forces, chief among them the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. These organizations provide a variety of services to veterans and their families, such as health insurance, mental health care, tuition subsidies, and home loans. Many veterans, however, are not aware or are not disclosed the full scope of services and benefits available to them, including those provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many veterans are further unaware of the benefits available to them through Medicaid, particularly for those who struggle to find civilian employment or are unable to make ends meet. Consulting with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney will help you and your family understand the benefits available to you as a former service member and ensure that you receive the support you have earned for your many sacrifices.

Veteran Access To Medicaid

Brief Overview of Medicaid and Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits

Medicaid is a federal and state run program that ensures health insurance coverage for low-income families. Medicaid also provides health care-related services and benefits such as transportation and outpatient hospital care. The Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, is a branch of the federal government that provides lifelong health care coverage for veterans and their families. In addition to health care services and coverage, the department provides home loans, pensions, disability compensation, tuition subsidies, life insurance, and burial services. It is important to note that VA benefits are available for both uniformed service members and veterans and their spouses, children, and parents. 

How The Expansion Of Medicaid Has Impacted Veteran Enrollment

Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion in 2014, veteran access to Medicaid coverage and benefits increased, leading to better access to health care and improved outcomes. This is especially important because according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 10% of working-age veterans receive Medicaid, with a further 40% of those having Medicaid as their only health coverage. The 2014 ACA Medicaid expansion to include adults earning up to 138% of the poverty threshold made many adults newly eligible for the program in the 32 states that adopted the expansion, including New York. The results are staggering, as according to nine Health Care For The Homeless Projects, states that adopted the Medicaid expansion have a 55% share of veterans covered by Medicaid, as compared with a 5% share of veterans in states that did not adopt the Medicaid expansion. 

Why Medicaid Is Crucial For Veterans

According to a 2021 estimate from the Census Bureau's American Community Service, there are about 16.5 million veterans in the United States. When returning from military service, veterans must reintegrate back into civilian life, a challenge for many. Many veterans return from active service with a disability, long-term injury, or multiple crippling conditions. Over time, veterans may develop alcoholism, drug addiction, or a multitude of mental health issues relating to PTSD or other service-related injury. Most of these issues require long-term care, whether it's physical therapy to adjust to a prosthetic limb or psychiatric interventions to help combat suicidal thoughts or PTSD-related instability. In these cases, Medicaid plays a crucial role in providing coverage to veterans that might not otherwise be insured. Medicaid also helps to supplement Medicare or private, VA, or military coverage for roughly 60% of working-age veterans in order to reduce the out-of-pocket or copayment cost. According to 2022 Point-In-Time Count, 33,136 veterans lack access to other forms of coverage and tend to have higher rates of disability, chronic health conditions, alcoholism, and drug abuse.


Most veterans qualify for VA, however there are instances where a veteran either is not eligible for health-related VA benefits or simply lives too far from a VA facility to receive treatment. Other veterans might not apply for VA or Medicaid benefits because they do not know the potential benefits they are eligible for or believe they do not qualify. It is vital for veterans planning for health care coverage and other services and benefits upon returning to civilian life or retiring from active service to understand that there are many programs available to them to gain the coverage and services they need. One can also qualify for VA and Medicaid benefits simultaneously, so it is important to understand the process of applying and qualifying for both and how each program applies to specific expenses. With the end of the Federal COVID-19 Health Emergency 2023, yearly Medicaid renewal has resumed and changes in the eligibility and waiver process have occurred, making understanding potential Medicaid coverage and benefits more complex. In this case, having an experienced Medicaid planning attorney will help to understand what benefits are available to you and your family and how to ensure that you qualify for the program without running afoul of new Medicaid and Medicaid renewal regulations. To schedule a consultation to help ensure coverage for you and your family, call the Medicaid Fraud Attorney at (718) 333-2395.

Why Elder Law Attorneys Aren’t Just For Seniors?

An Elder Law Attorney serves as an advocate for the elderly and their loved ones when it comes to the legal issues related to healthcare and financial assets. Individuals who have reached an old age or are approaching the 65 benchmark should consider hiring an Elder Law attorney to assist them with the matter of retirement, social security, Medicaid, long term care planning, guardianship, disability, etc. An Elder Care Attorney will address the importance of creating an estate plan composed of a will, trust, health care proxy, power of attorney, and letter of intent in order to effectively prepare for the future. There are numerous benefits to hiring an Elder Law attorney, some of which include guidance in long term care planning, assistance in creating a durable power of attorney, aid in receiving Social Security benefits, and protection against elder abuse. Elder Law Attorneys are specialists in their field, as they have much experience handling similar cases related to the specific needs of seniors. The attorney will utilize a holistic approach in ensuring that the key issues pertaining to long-term care, housing, well-being, and financial asset protection adhere to the wishes of the elderly individual. In terms of requiring assistance in creating trusts and wills for an elderly loved one, an esteemed Elder Attorney will be able to guarantee that the documents have the individual’s best interests at heart. The lawyer will work with you to protect your assets in the best manner possible to ensure that necessary payments are made on the home and other personal costs, while making sure that there is no form of financial exploitation of assets that could harm your loved ones.

Elder Law Attorneys Aren't Just for the Elderly

Benefits to Hiring and Elder Care Attorney:

1)Guidance in long term care planning

In the case that an individual’s physical and mental health declines, a long-term care facility is typically the most effective plan of care for the individual. When considering which long-term care facility is most effective for your loved one’s needs be sure to also note that the payment plan for this facility is within your price range. An Elder Care Attorney can assist you in obtaining long-term care insurance that will help cover the expenses of care, as prices are on the rise in NY. In the case that long-term care insurance is out of your financial budget, an Elder Care Attorney can assist in qualifying for Medicaid. You are guaranteed to make the best long term care decision possible for your loved one if you seek proper instruction and assistance from an experienced attorney.

2)Assistance in creating a durable power of attorney

A durable power of attorney serves to grant a third party the ability to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the individual who has become incapacitated, as they are no longer able to make decisions independently. An Elder Care Attorney prefers a durable power of attorney rather than just the typical power of attorney because the durable document remains functional even after the individual loses the ability to make decisions for themselves. On the contrary, the typical document would only function if the individual has not become mentally incapacitated. An attorney will guide you through the process of filling out this document to ensure that your future is well planned for. 

3) Aid in receiving Social Security Benefits

An Elder Care Attorney works to guarantee that you are receiving all of the benefits you deserve based on your current age and overall health. Once you reach the age of 67 you are subject to receive the full Social Security benefits. If you have reached this age and are not receiving your full benefits, an attorney will advocate on your behalf and work to grant you your benefits. If you have a disability and are subject to receive disability benefits, then the attorney will assist you in obtaining those benefits by following a similar legal procedure. According to NY State regulations, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) guarantees that you may begin collecting benefits after 6 months since the start of your disability. With the support of an esteemed Elder Care Attorney, you will certainly receive all of the benefits you rightfully deserve.

4)Protection against elder abuse

With the current foundation, research has shown that many elderly residents in nursing homes are facing unjust treatment. An Elder Care Attorney will work with you by representing your loved ones who have been the victims of physical violence, emotional mistreatment, or financial fraud. The attorney will not just provide guidance on the following steps, but will ensure that justice is served and your loved one will never be treated in this manner ever again. The attorney will advocate for the rights of your loved one to guarantee that they are being properly cared for and looked after, especially during these troubling and challenging times.

So, In Sum, Why Elder Law Attorneys Aren’t Just For Seniors?

Elder Law Attorneys work to assist individuals in creating a plan for their future to ensure that the individuals interests and best wishes are clearly declared. These individuals are not always seniors. As a matter of fact, it is recommended that you hire an Elder Care Attorney prior to the age of 65. It is always better to be prepared for anything, rather than procrastinate on preparing for your future. Many individuals fall victim to the assumption that they have an unlimited period of time left to get all of their assets and legal information together. The unfortunate truth is that life is inexplicable and unexpected events can occur at any point in time. In the case that an individual does not have an elder care in place prior to the point in time when they biome incapacitated, then their loved ones must embark in the costly and lengthy process of earning the legal authority to act on their loved one’s behalf. It is encouraged that you avoid waiting because the guardianship legal procedures associated with waiting too long to create an elder care plan are very complex and expensive. If individuals do not take the time to create a will, then they will not be able to decide how they would like their assets to be distributed or how their minor children would be cared for. The court would then be responsible for distributing your assets and estates, which may not align with your wishes. It is certainly better to be well prepared ahead of time, rather than at a loss when the time comes. Make the decision today to protect yourself and your loved ones by hiring an Elder Care Attorney to draft all of your legal documents and create a plan for the future. 

For Elder Care inquiries please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at 718-333-2395 to best prepare your legal documents for the future.