The individual or their designated representative may apply. If there is a legal guardian, the guardian must apply unless the legal guardian fails to cooperate or cannot be located. Some eligibility requirements include:
Individuals with income over the ICP income limit, $2349 monthly, may still be eligible if they set up a “qualified income trust” and deposit sufficient funds every month into the “qualified income trust” account so their income outside the trust is less than the income limit. To qualify, the “qualified income trust” must:
The asset limit in Florida is $2000 (though some states have higher and lower limits), which means that a care recipient will not qualify to receive Medicaid if he or she has more than $2000 in total assets.
However, there are numerous exclusions to the Medicaid asset test that can protect significant amounts of assets. For example, in many states if you are married and receiving nursing home care through Medicaid, your spouse is allowed to keep $128640 as a community spouse benefit.
Additional asset exclusions exist, which means that the $2000 limit can be very misleading.
The rules differ by state, but in Florida, the primary residence is an exempt asset as long as the applicant has an "intent to return" and the equity in the home is equal to or less than $595000 OR has a spouse living in the home and the equity in the home is equal to, or less than, $595000.
While the attorney that recommends asset protection strategies will ultimately determine if your home meets the designation of exempt, for most people, the term "home" coupled with an ownership interest is adequate to understand what constitutes "homestead" property for purposes of Medicaid.
Yes there are many ways to protect assets, and even income, while still qualifying for Medicaid benefits.
The basic concept is to exchange assets and income that Medicaid counts against qualification for assets that Medicaid does not count against qualification.
In Florida, a qualified attorney must make the initial determination of the appropriate asset protection strategies available for a particular client. However, an attorney does not have to be a “Board Certified” Elder Law Attorney to determine the appropriate strategies, recommend and draft appropriate legal documents, or apply for benefits if they so choose. While the "Board Certified" status does require the passing of an exam regarding a broad range of elder care issues, the designation does not guarantee that the attorney will know, understand, or recommend the most cutting edge strategies to qualify for Nursing Home Medicaid. Further, the designation does not guarantee Medicaid approval. There is nothing wrong with the designation, in fact, in the absence of any other guidance regarding the competency of an attorney in the field of "Medicaid Planning" there is merit to the idea that the designation would increase the odds of finding an attorney with the needed knowledge over a random attorney selection.
However, while strategy determination and document creation are important, the real work and skill lies in the implementation of the recommended strategies and the processing of the application. The processing company must understand the strategy, the legal documents, how to interface with financial companies, various professionals, family members, the nursing home, Medicaid personnel, and so much more.
When using a quality processing company a money back guarantee will be provided that assures a full return of any fee paid if the processing company fails to obtain Medicaid approval for the month agreed upon at the time of hiring the company. While it should never be necessary to collect the refund, it should provide reassurance that such a guarantee is offered.
In summary, there are various legal strategies and processes that can be implemented to obtain Medicaid benefits without breaking laws. The best approach is a team approach. The team should be familiar with each other and work in tandem to accomplish the goals of the client.
Your mom does not have to spend all of her assets to qualify for Medicaid. Platinum Benefit Services, Inc. is an industry leading Florida Medicaid application processing firm. Platinum, when appropriate, will refer you to an attorney who will recommend the appropriate asset protection strategy to protect your mom’s assets. Platinum will then work at the direction of the attorney to ensure the smooth and timely administrative processing of the protection strategies and the Medicaid application.
Yes. The “Income Cap” in Florida is currently $2349 gross, per month. A patient that receives more than the “Income Cap” per month is disqualified from receiving Medicaid long-term care unless a special legal document, which should be drafted by an attorney, is created which will artificially lower the gross income below the $2349 threshold.
Yes. Medicaid allows a personal needs allowance of $130 per month for personal items. Some other deductions from the “deductible” are allowed such as health insurance premiums and VA Aid and Attendance of $90.
You should start exploring all your options immediately upon actual admission to a nursing facility. A Platinum representative will meet with you at no charge to explain the Medicaid application process and discuss all payer options including Medicaid relieving the overwhelming stress associated with paying for nursing home care . The initial consultation is free of charge and without obligation.
Platinum Benefit Services, Inc. has successfully filed and received approvals on more than 6,000 cases to date. Platinum has a full time staff dedicated solely to preparing, submitting and tracking each case through the entire process until approval is attained.
The application process can be daunting; requiring constant monitoring, information submission, corrections of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) errors, and enforcement of time frames. While attorneys may be knowledgeable about protection strategies and preparation of legal documents, attorney offices often do not have extensive Medicaid application processing expertise or the systems or staffing necessary to ensure the application is filed and approved in a timely manner. The cost of long-term care can be well in excess of $200.00 per day. A delay in eligibility for any reason may result in the family paying many thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.
Platinum will work at the direction of the attorney to administratively carry out the necessary steps in the application process necessary to protect all of your mom’s assets, maximize income for mom’s spouse (if any), correct any unknowing mistakes made by the family (gifts, commingling of funds, selling assets for less than fair value, etc.), collect and organize required documentation, verify income and assets, then prepare and submit the application. Once the application is submitted, Platinum will track the progress of the application and intervene, when necessary, until approval is attained in a timely fashion. Unlike attorneys, who typically charge by the hour, Platinum charges a flat fee. Also, unlike attorneys, Platinum GUARANTEES application approval!
IRAs and Retirement accounts provide income tax breaks, but the money in them doesn't get any special treatment by Medicaid. If you apply for Medicaid, IRAs and Retirement accounts in your name are considered "Countable" assets. The fact that you would lose your tax break if you tapped into the IRA or Retirement funds too early doesn't protect them from consideration by Medicaid.
The expense of nursing home care — which ranges from $8,000 to $10,000 a month or more — can rapidly deplete the lifetime savings of elderly couples. In 1988, Congress enacted provisions to prevent what has come to be called "spousal impoverishment," leaving the spouse who is still living at home in the community with little or no income or resources. These provisions help ensure that this situation will not occur and that community spouses are able to live out their lives with independence and dignity.
Under the Medicaid spousal impoverishment provisions, a certain amount of the couple's combined resources is protected for the spouse living in the community. Depending on how much of his or her own income the community spouse actually has, a certain amount of income belonging to the spouse in the institution can also be set aside for the community spouse's use.
Following is the minimum and maximum amount of resources and income that can be protected for a spouse in the community in:
Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance: $2114
Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance: $3216
The state of Florida Medicaid guidelines provide and for the Community Spouse. The term "Allowances" refers to the amount of income the Community Spouse is allowed to keep when the Nursing Home patient's income is added to the Community Spouse's income.
Click the link below to find out how much income the spouse may receive from the nursing home patient.
The short answer is, almost every expense associated with room, board, and healthcare when associated with long term care in a nursing home.
A more thorough answer is:
The Florida Medicaid program provides medical coverage for Florida residents who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Once an individual is approved for Medicaid in Florida medical bills will be paid, primarily by Medicaid although Medicaid is always the payer of last resort. In other words, if there is other potential payers (i.e. Medicare, private insurance, V. A. benefits, etc.) then those sources pay first and Medicaid covers the balance.
The bills covered include not just nursing home care, but also hospital stays, home health care, home and community based services, hospice, transportation, dental and vision care, community behavioral health, and prescription medications. (Although in some cases, Medicare coverage may overlap this coverage).
The following services are required to be offered by all states, including Florida, under Medicaid:
The following services are optional; however, most states, including Florida will offer them through Medicaid:
Transfers of income or assets may affect eligibility. If income or assets are transferred for less than fair market value to become Medicaid eligible, a period of ineligibility may exist for the individual. This will vary depending on the value of the transferred income or asset(s). Anyone determined ineligible due solely to transferred income or assets cannot qualify for nursing home payments. However, the individual may still qualify for basic Medicaid coverage (e.g., medicines, hospital coverage, etc).
Certain transfers are allowable. The individual may transfer: