Florida – October 30, 2020

Need for Medicaid.

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps people with limited income and limitations on assets to cover health care costs and impacts estate planning because if costs are not managed correctly it could wipe out an individual’s savings and loss of home ownership.  An estate planning attorney can discuss options before someone becomes infirmed, has an accident, or becomes incapacitated and cannot speak for themselves, or they die leaving costs of medical care as a financial burden to loved  ones and family members.  A Florida estate planning attorney can assist with Medicaid applications and guidance for asset structures to be secured in the best interests of an individual who may need to live in a nursing home at some point in the future.

 Application.

Florida long term Medicaid that covers costs related to home-health care, assisted living, and nursing home care requires the satisfaction of three main eligibility tests.  They are:

  1. Medical necessity. The application must need the type of care reflected in the application, and it must be certified by a Florida doctor who verifies that the applicant needs assistance with activities of daily living.
  2. Asset limit test. Individuals must have $2,000.00, or less in assets and earn less than $2,349.00 per month in income as of the 2020 guidelines. Certain assets will not be counted such as a house where a spouse continues to live, one that the applicant plans to return to, or with equity less than $595,000.00. If an adult child, who has been a care giver lived in the home for two years prior to the parent’s admission to long term care, the house can be transferred to the child for a small amount of money. Other exemptions may include one car, personal property, insurance policies and retirement accounts in some cases as well as prepaid funeral expenses, home improvements and miscellaneous items a person should discuss with a Florida elder law attorney to find out how to pass the asset limit test.
  3. Income limit test. Individuals must earn less than $2,349.00 per month in income as of the 2020 guidelines. An attorney can help applicants figure out if they are eligible and set up a qualified income trust when necessary.

When individuals fail either the asset or income limit test, an elder law attorney can help with estate planning that moves certain assets around in order to qualify under the rules of Medicaid.

Seek legal counsel.

An experienced estate planning attorney in Fort Pierce Florida can answer questions regarding the benefit of Medicaid application, and can help individuals position themselves financially in the event they need Medicaid coverage for long term care avenues. Skilled elder law attorneys at The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm can answer all relevant questions regarding the three main eligibility tests and prepare necessary documents for application along with changing existing wills and trusts to address assets relevant to Medicaid applications.

The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L.

IRC Chamber of Commerce
2940 S. 25th Street
Fort Pierce, FL 34981
Phone: 772-828-2588

Sources:

https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-and-you/index.html

https://www.medicaid.gov/

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/731.201

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