Planning Will Help Protect You and Your Family
Issues regarding the elderly and disabled are complex. Now, Federal and State laws have changed drastically and finding answers to your questions can be difficult. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions.
1. How Can We Help You? It is a very emotional time when faced with the illness of your spouse or aging parent. Getting the best care for your loved one is critical. Yet, the fear of how to pay for that care can be overwhelming, causing you to take no action at all. You do not have to be alone when making these decisions. Like the hundreds of clients before you, we help you understand all your options for getting Medicaid while protecting assets. It is what we do. Here are a few simple answers to frequently asked questions.
2. How Do I Apply? Please do not rush to fill out a Medicaid application. In most cases, Medicaid eligibility can be obtained retroactively for up to 3 months. In fact, we often see avoidable mistakes made by applying too soon, even if you think you meet Medicaid eligibility already. So, please do not allow anyone to apply for Medicaid until you have received one-on-one legal guidance from our office. Planning should be done before the Medicaid application. Where it is necessary, we can help develop a comprehensive plan to meet Medicaid's spend-down requirements (see chart), while protecting assets.
|2018 Asset and Income Eligibility Levels*|
|Income must be less than $2250 per month.||Keeps all income.|
|Note: Minimum income for spouse to live on is $2030 for spousal diversion purposes.|
|(Updated each January and July)|
|"Exempt" assets plus...||"Exempt assets" plus...|
|"Countable assets" limited to $2,000 or less.||"Countable assets" limited to $123,600 or less.|
|*Effective Jan. 1,2018|
Most of the time, our comprehensive plans will include our services for filing the Medicaid application also.
3. Will Medicaid Take My House Or Car? A car of any value will not be counted as an asset. As for a home which was previously exempt under the old law, the new Medicaid laws count a homestead of greater than $572,000 in value as a countable asset, requiring spend-down, in most cases.
4. If My Spouse Needs Medicaid, What Can I Protect? Assets exempt from Medicaid include: · One vehicle less than 7 years of age · Multiple vehicles greater than 7 years of age · Irrevocable pre-need funeral arrangements · Burial plots for Applicant and immediate family · A primary residence with the value capped at $572,000 for single Applicants · Life insurance with the face or cash value capped at $2,500 · Burial expense fund capped at $2,500 · Personal effects and household goods · Retirement accounts (only under special circumstances)
Countable assets for the spouse may equal $123,600, while the ill spouse may keep $2,000. While most income of an ill person must be paid to the nursing home, an unlimited amount of income belonging to the spouse may be kept.
Key Medicaid Information for Florida for 2018 – At a Glance
|Protections for the Community Spouse|
|Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA):||Minimum: $24720.00|
|Maximum: $123,600 (maximum allowed by Florida)|
|Increased CSRA:||Permitted. Florida follows the income-first rule.|
|Annuities:||Actuarially sound annuities are permitted.|
|Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance:||Minimum: $2030*|
|*Updated each January and July|
|Average monthly cost of nursing home care according to state: (Otherwise known as the “penalty divisor”)||$8944|
|Has a Long-Term Care Partnership program been implemented?||Yes|
|Is the state an “income cap” state”? The current income cap amount is $2250||Yes|
|Has the state expanded the definition of “estate” beyond the probate estate?||No|
|Has the state included a hardship provision in its estate recovery plan?||Yes|
|Home Equity Limit|
|The state Medicaid program will not cover long-term care services for those with home equity above this limit, with certain exceptions.||$572,000|