After the coronavirus pandemic hit America in March 2020, it prompted Congress to pass several bills meant to stabilize businesses and the economy. As part of those relief packages, the CARES Act provided many Americans with a stimulus check based on their incomes. For instance, those with an income under $75,000 per year received $1,200. People making over that amount received less on a sliding scale proportionate with their income. These payments were based on either an individual’s 2018 or 2019 taxes. For those with a loved one in a nursing home or looking into long-term care, stimulus checks may have presented some worries about how they impact Medicaid eligibility.
As people continue to live longer lives, the possibility of needing long-term care increases. It is not something people like to think about but need to plan for to make sure they are putting themselves and their families in the best position possible if they were to need long-term care. While this means estate planning and end of life planning, it also means Medicaid planning.
Recently, Florida increased the personal Medicaid needs
and allowances for Institutional Care. Initially, the payment was $105.00 per
month. After the increase, the total allowance became $130.00 per month. The
increment meant that individuals will be receiving more updated institutional
care and Medicaid benefits.
Medicaid offers health coverage to more than 65 million Americans, including eligible low-income adults, pregnant women, children, elderly adults, and persons with disabilities. This program is administered by states, according to the federal requirements. Medicaid is funded jointly by the federal and state governments.
Over the years, many people have incorrectly used the
terms Medicare and Medicaid interchangeably to the point where there is a lot
of confusion among the public. Medicare and Medicaid are two completely
different public health insurance options, and it is important to understand
their basic differences if you intend to use each service properly.
When a Medicaid recipient who was living in an assisted
living facility that was partially or wholly paid for be Medicaid passes away,
Medicaid will do what is known as an estate recovery. Under state and federal
laws, Medicaid is allowed to liquidate portions of the deceased’s estate to
recover as much of the costs of long-term care as possible. Under some
circumstances this would include the home of the deceased if the deceased had a
financial interest in the home. But there are instances where Medicaid cannot
liquidate a home to recover costs.
Medicaid planning is a very important part of the elder
law process. If you do not prepare for Medicaid properly, you could wind up
losing assets that are very important to you and your family. Luckily, there
are assets that are already exempt from Medicaid which you and your family are
allowed to keep, even after the Medicaid recipient has passed away.
Florida Medicaid laws regarding exemptions is over 50 pages long and contains complex guidelines governing a wide variety of assets. For senior residents of Naples, Medicaid planning is vital to ensuring most, if not all, their medical treatments and nursing home care are paid for without being forced to give up assets.
When Fort Myers residents apply for Medicaid, there are a lot of rules they have to become familiar with. Many of these rules are critically important as they involve the protection or use of the applicant’s assets to pay for assisted living and long-term medical costs. While there is an imposing list of assets that are subject to Medicaid’s authority, there are also assets that remain exempt. It is important for Fort Myers residents to know which assets are exempt from Medicaid and any special rules attached to those assets.
When a couple applies for Medicaid benefits for only
one spouse, the other spouse might wonder if their personal income and assets
are in jeopardy as well. For example, a spouse who remains in the couple’s home
might wonder if Florida’s Medicaid system might go after the remaining spouse’s
Social Security income to pay for the other spouse’s assisted living