To set up a consultation – call us at (727) 822-2200
When a loved one has reached the point where he or she needs long term care living arrangements, such as a nursing home, it is often because the family members are no longer able to provide the level of specialized care required. This kind of custodial care can be extremely expensive, costing thousands of dollars every month. Medicare will only pay toward the first 100 days of rehabilitative skilled care, so many families turn to Medicaid to pay the nursing home bills thereafter. However, there are specific requirements for Medicaid eligibility dealing with a person’s medical necessity, income, and assets.
Florida imposes an income cap on Medicaid applicants. This amount changes slightly every year. Beginning January 1, 2017, the Medicaid applicant may not have more than $2,205.00 in monthly gross income.
Florida also imposes an asset cap on Medicaid applicants. Certain assets are not countable toward this amount, such as the applicant’s home, personal vehicle, burial plots, and pre-paid funeral expenses. Other assets, such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, annuities, life insurance policies, and non-homestead real property are countable assets. The Medicaid’s combined countable assets must be less than $2,000.00. Many families think that spending down the assets to almost nothing is the only way to qualify for Medicaid. This is not the case.
Spending down the assets can be harmful to the individual requiring nursing home care because Medicaid does not pay for many items that are necessary for the care of the individual such as clothing and grooming items. Instead of spending down assets unnecessarily, a variety of planning techniques are available to allow for the individual to maintain assets enough for the individual to receive the level of care he or she deserves. Medicaid planning allows for an individual to become eligible for Medicaid through legal means without unnecessary spend down of assets.
Medicaid laws are very complex, and achieving Medicaid eligibility can be a daunting and overwhelming process. If an individual goes about it the wrong way, such as gifting assets outright to family members, a penalty may be assessed, causing detriment to the family member in need of custodial care. In addition, a person without knowledge of the applicable laws and available planning tools will not be able to fully benefit from what’s allowed by law.
Gulf Beaches Law, P.A. will help you navigate through this process in the most effective manner and help you utilize the available tools.
To set up a consultation - call us at (727) 822-2200