Medicaid is a jointly funded state and federal health care program for low-income and medically needy people of all ages. There are different eligibility groups, but primarily elder law practices target people 65 and older.
Medicaid planning is part of a long-term care plan. The cost of a skilled nursing home, assisted living facility, or home care is very high. Everyone should consider and include long-term care planning as part of their overall estate plan.
Eligibility and limits
Many people think that they will NEVER qualify for Medicaid benefits because the asset limits and income limits are low. In general, the asset limit for a individual is $ 2,000 and the income limit in Florida and Nevada is $ 2,313 (2019). The asset limits are higher for married couples, but still quite low compared to the lifetime savings and total assets of the average customer. Each prospective client should consider the strict Medicaid eligibility requirements BEFORE submitting an application, and should use the skills and knowledge of a trained senior law attorney to plan for and meet the criteria to be eligible for benefits from Medicaid.
What is income?
For Medicaid purposes, any income received by an applicant is counted. It can come from ANY source, including job wages, veterans benefits, social security, stock dividends, pension payments, and alimony. Generally, for those who are married, the income of the non-applicant spouse is not taken into account and does not affect the eligibility of the applicant spouse. There is also a minimum monthly allowance for maintenance needs (MMMNA), which is a minimum amount of monthly income to which a non-applicant spouse is entitled. This benefit helps married couples where only one spouse needs Medicaid benefits.
What are assets?
Non-exempt countable assets include cash, stocks, bonds, investments, savings, checking accounts, real estate (outside of primary residence), and other assets. The good news is that there are assets that are considered exempt (not countable) for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Exemptions are state specific and can include things like a car, primary residence (up to certain value limits), prepaid funeral benefits, some personal belongings, and more. For married couples, there are higher limits, including a Community Spouse Resource Allocation (CSRA), which provides a higher asset threshold for Medicaid eligibility compared to an applicant who is single.
Are you concerned that your income and / or assets will exceed the eligibility limits? DO NOT FEAR!
For those who do not immediately meet the limited eligibility requirements above, there are other ways to qualify for Medicaid. Our Medicaid planning attorneys are trained to analyze your situation and design a plan that qualifies you for Medicaid benefits. There are many planning techniques that we can use to qualify you or your spouse for Medicaid. Let us implement a variety of strategies to help you or your loved one become eligible for Medicaid.
DO NOT WAIT until you are forced into poverty to start thinking about qualifying for Medicaid. With proper planning, you can preserve assets and receive Medicaid benefits to pay for some home health care, a significant portion of assisted living facilities, and nearly 100% of the bill for a skilled nursing facility. A comprehensive analysis must be performed to determine your Medicaid eligibility. Get help qualifying for Medicaid today.
Our attorneys are here to help you and your loved ones. We serve clients throughout Florida. For more information or for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION please contact us today by calling 305.722.5533 or by sending an email to [email protected]!