Florida Medicaid can be confusing. How do you access it? When does it apply? What standards need to be met to ensure that you and your loved ones have access to the long-term care you need?
We know how challenging it can be and actively work with our clients each day to ensure that they are able to access the benefits they need. Although there are many individuals and companies out there who claim to know how to make a Florida senior eligible for benefits, elder law attorneys are carefully and extensively trained to identify the type of care that is needed and how to become eligible to access monetary benefits.
For example, did you know that you may file a completed application for Medicaid nursing home assistance through the Department of Children and Families by the last business day of the month in which financial assistance is needed? If financially eligible, the application is approved retroactively to the first day or the month in which the application is filed. The downside to this seemingly easy scenario, however, is that it is not always easy to become financially eligible.
Let us share an example with you. The institutionalized spouse, or the spouse entering into a nursing home, cannot own more than $2,000 in countable assets. The community spouse, or the spouse who will live outside the skilled nursing facility, can only own countable assets not exceeding $126,420 in order for the couple to be eligible for Medicaid assistance.
There are some assets, however, that will not factor into this total as they are uncountable. This can include, but not necessarily be limited to, a combination of the following:
A homestead having an equity interest less than $585,000 after deducting the mortgage,
One vehicle regardless of its age or value,
A second vehicle, if it is more than seven years old,
The cash value of a whole life insurance policy having a face value of $2,500 or less,
The full value of an irrevocable burial contract regardless of the amount contributed to the policy, and
A $2,500 exclusion for each spouse’s bank account that has been designated for burial expenses.
One of the keys to success in this scenario is to get the guidance you need early. We encourage you to reach out to our office to schedule a meeting and learn more about the ins and outs of the Florida Medicaid program. Planning forward, when you are not under the stress of a long-term care crisis, is always beneficial to you and all involved.