Recent Trends with Medicaid Applications – Part 1
I have been saying for some time that Medicaid benefits are much more difficult to obtain now than at any time I can recall in the last 25 years I have been filing applications on behalf of clients. There are a number of reasons for this and a number of ways in which the State has made it more challenging.
First the reasons. Demographics certainly have something to do with it. The population in this country continues to age. The average age of Americans continues to climb as people are living longer. That means more individuals needing long term care and consequently more potential Medicaid applications being filed.
At the same time the funding for Medicaid, which like all government programs comes from tax revenue, has come under pressure. More applications means needing more money but since the pandemic trillions of dollars have been spent in stimulus checks and extending unemployment benefits. Even before the current crisis state and federal budgets have been running at a deficit. In New Jersey, our State public pension fund is underfunded after years in which the State reduced contributions to apply public monies elsewhere. It only stands to reason that this budget crunch could affect other programs like Medicaid.
While I certainly have no inside knowledge as to what goes on within New Jersey’s state agency that runs Medicaid, it does appear that the application process has become more demanding on applicants. How the State has done that and how to prepare for it is something we’ll cover next week.