Add comment September 28th, 2009
In New York, Medicaid requires recertification once per year to continue your benefits. In order to maintain access to medical and health services without any lapse, it’s critical to prepare and submit the proper recertification documentation. Home or nursing facility care, doctor visits, prescriptions and other vital coverage all depend on it.
A recent New York Times article highlighted the importance of keeping your Medicaid status current. It referenced a study of patients who experienced lapses in their coverage and the effects on them. The five-year inquiry found that people with intermittent coverage had three times the incidence of hospitalization as those who received continuous benefits. Many instances of illness and disability that could have been handled at a physician’s office degenerated into conditions requiring hospital care. The reason was individuals didn’t seek care sooner due to the absence of benefits.
Chronic health conditions posed the greatest dangers for these patients, with many having been being hospitalized within three months of losing Medicaid benefits.
Attempting to process your own recertification documents can be problematic. If you handle your own recertification, you may be exposed to a greater risk of denial of benefits than if you have the professional assistance of a competent Elder Law attorney. Your Medicaid lawyer deals with recertification issues on a routine basis and is in the best position to give you the proper advice. Experienced lawyers also help make the entire process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
The study concluded that with continuous Medicaid coverage and uninterrupted access to primary care services, many hospitalizations could be avoided. It’s a mistake not to get the medical care you need until there are serious health consequences. By taking these simple steps to keep your eligibility for Medicaid intact, you won’t lose access to your benefits and can protect your health, well-being and quality-of-life.