What Is Medicaid Spend Down in Virginia?

Aging can be a challenging experience for anyone. Older people are vulnerable to health conditions, financial instability, and even abuse. While most older adults look for elder abuse attorney near me to file abuse lawsuits, legal counsel is essential for other healthcare matters as well.

Medicaid is a program run by the federal and state government in a partnership that offers medical coverage to eligible people. Medicaid in Virginia is aimed at providing healthcare facilities to people who cannot afford medical care. Medicaid is provided on an eligibility basis and doesn’t require any enrollment fee.

If the elderly cannot look after their healthcare needs, they can apply for Medicaid in Virginia.

In this blog, we will discuss what is Medicaid spend down in Virginia.

What is Medicaid Spend Down?

Some families and individuals qualify for the Medicaid program but possess income that exceeds the medically needy limit. However, some of these people may be eligible for the Medicaid program if they are required to spend the excess income on medical care and hospital bills. This is referred to as a spend-down.

Medicaid Spend Down works similar to an insurance deductible. When your paid or unpaid medical bills are greater than your excess income, the Medicaid program will cover your bills. Medicaid only pays medical bills that are over the surplus income of a person. A person will have to pay the medical bills up to the excess limit.

If you are an elderly, disabled, or teenage mother and your countable income is higher than needed to be qualified for Medicaid, you can still be eligible for the program if you have to spend most of your medical bills.

Eligibility Criteria for Medicaid Spend Down in Virginia

Every state has the choice to establish a Medicaid eligibility program. States that choose to incorporate Medicaid must determine the parameters and criteria for eligibility. Since every state has different Medicaid programs, one must consult an elder law attorney to plan medical care.  

If your Medicaid assistance has been denied due to excess income, the government will notify you of the denial. The Virginia Medicaid attorney will then conduct a thorough evaluation of your resources to determine if your countable income is below your state’s maximum resource limit.

If your countable income is found to be below your household’s resource limit, you can apply for Medicaid spend-down. Once you have reached the spend-down amount, the authority will notify you to take the necessary action. Since such technical aspects of the Medicaid program can be confusing, one should consult a qualified lawyer.

Retitling or transferring your assets a few weeks or months before applying for Medicaid may attract a penalty. If you are an older person, it’s best to plan for long-term care and calculate the cost of medical bills in advance.

Even if a person has asset limits that exceed the income required to qualify for the Medicaid program, it doesn’t mean they will be deemed ineligible. Since there are various aspects to qualifying for Medicaid in Virginia, one must consult a lawyer to choose the best course of action.…

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

In a recent article, reporter Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle asks whether candidates running for statewide office, such as our former and perhaps next Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr., and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who is running for Attorney General, may lose votes because of their opposition to the death penalty.

In fact, while California voters “support” the death penalty in the abstract, further questioning reveals that they actually prefer the alternative of life imprisonment without possibility of parole (LWOP), also known as permanent imprisonment, or better yet LWOP plus a provision for restitution by the prisoner to the victims’ compensation fund (LWOP+R).

When offered a choice between death and LWOP, 55% of Californians polled in 2009 by the Survey Research Center at the University of Virginia preferred LWOP, and only 37% the death penalty, with 8% unsure. When LWOP+R was offered, only 26% still preferred the death penalty, while more than 66% preferred LWOP+R.

In California, LWOP, or permanent imprisonment, has actually been in place since 1977 for all persons convicted of capital crimes who are not sentenced to death. The categories of murder with “special circumstances” automatically subject to permanent
imprisonment were greatly expanded in 1978 by the Murder Penalty Initiative (Proposition 7).

Since 1977, over 3700 prisoners in Callfornia have been sentenced to LWOP, and only a handful have been released, those later found to be actually innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted.  One hundred and thirty eight death row prisoners have been released due to wrongful conviction nationwide since 1972. Apart from these cases of exoneration, permanent imprisonment in our state means exactly what it says.  A small number of prisoners who committed their crimes before the 1977 and 1978 LWOP statutes were enacted, such as Sirhan Sirhan and Charles Manson, get periodic parole hearings under an earlier law. 

Further, restitution, the “R” part of LWOP+R, is already in good part the law in California. Ironically, however, opportunities to perform various forms of work and service whose proceeds can be devoted to crime victims and their families are now often sought by individuals serving LWOP sentences but denied to them due to our overcrowded facilities. Adequate program funding could make LWOP+R not only the ideal but the consistent reality in our state, a goal worthy of action through either the Legislature or a voter initiative.

As the (CCFAJ) showed in its report of 2008, replacing the death penalty with permanent imprisonment would save over $125 million a year. This money could be used both to strengthen prisoner
restitution programs, and to assist law enforcement at a time when in many of our counties only about 50% of murderers are caught, convicted, and imprisoned. Victim advocates stress the importance of reopening “cold cases” and getting killers off our
streets, thus promoting the public safety and doing some justice for forgotten murder victims and their families.

In short, conscientious and farsighted candidates for statewide office can and should exercise responsive and responsible leadership by fully considering the alternatives to the death penalty.…