Ask the Expert: Applying for Medicaid for a Central Ohio Senior

Dear Tracy:

We know that the world of Medicaid can be very confusing, so we figured we should be asking questions about the things that aren’t clear. Our question is simple: what IS Medicaid, and why should our parents apply for it? Also, what tips do you have?

Thank you so much!

-The Everett Family (Grove City)

Hello, Everett Family!

You’re right, there are a surprising number of myths that surround the Medicaid process for older adults in need. Some seniors in the Columbus area who would benefit from additional services and support don’t apply because they mistakenly believe they will lose their home if they do. Other older adults are simply overwhelmed trying to understand how to make an application.

Most people find themselves asking “What is Medicaid and why should my senior loved one apply?” Put simply, Medicaid is a healthcare program that is jointly funded by the federal government and the state of Ohio. Applicants must meet financial thresholds to qualify for assistance. If a senior meets the financial requirements, Medicaid may be able to help with long-term care expenses, assisted living, transportation, adult day services and more.

MyCare Ohio is a newer program designed to help make care delivery easier for older adults who receive both Medicare and Medicaid. It provides seniors with a single point of contact for accessing care.

Tips to Make the Medicaid Application Process Easier

If you or an older family member in your life will be applying for Medicaid, here are a few tips to make the process go more smoothly:

  • Assemble a binder that contains all of the information Medicaid is asking for and copies of the items you have sent.

  • Create a list of which documents you sent to Medicaid and the date you sent them. This includes information you send electronically as well.

  • Ask for help if you need it. If your senior loved one is undergoing therapy at a Columbus area short-term rehab center, the social worker can be a good resource for support. The state has also set up the Ohio Medicaid Consumer Hotline that you can call for assistance. The number is: (800) 324-8680. They are open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 8 pm and Saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm.

  • Meet all deadlines. Make sure you mark them on your calendar and give yourself plenty of time to complete each task before the deadline.

If you have any other questions on Medicaid, please don’t hesitate to ask.

-Tracy Woods
Patient Financial Services Representative
Monterey Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care