For the families of special needs children, the only viable health insurance option was Medicaid. Private insurance costs were exorbitant and unattainable because of “pre-existing conditions” (i.e., disability). With the new Affordable Care Act, private insurance providers must now offer insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions and at the same rates as those without pre-existing conditions. In light of these changes, parents have two BIG questions:
1. Will their child still need Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
2. Will their child need a special needs trust?private insurance providers must now offer insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions
Before deciding to cut all ties with Medicaid, families should compare and contrast what Medicaid provides versus private insurance. For example, private insurance will still not cover the costs of long- term care and other services or equipment necessary for a loved one with special needs. If a loved one with a disability might need Medicaid or SSI, having a special needs trust should be an essential part of their game plan, even if private insurance is now a viable option.
We talk a little more about factors to consider when deciding whether your disabled child should have private insurance coverage or Medicaid in our recent article .