Legacy Planning Law Group knows that the best way to help our clients is to understand their long-term care planning needs and help them build that plan. If you’re interested in learning more about Medicaid planning, please book your free 15-minute phone call with us today!
Long-term care is expensive, and these costs only continue to increase as baby boomers age. Although the range varies depending on where you live, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Study for 2019, the national median annual cost of a private nursing home room is $102,200 with a 3.7% annual increase projected. With improved medical care, the average life span of adults also is increasing; this translates into more years of care at increasingly higher rates. Without some sort of financial assistance, these costs could be financially devastating. In fact, your entire life savings could be quickly depleted within a few years of needing long-term care. This is where Medicaid can help.
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program to assist those with low income and limited resources. While Medicare provides very limited long-term care coverage, Medicaid is much more extensive. However, because of its restrictions, qualifying for Medicaid can be extremely difficult. But paying for a nursing home without it could be all but impossible.
Although Medicaid requirements vary from state to state, they all share one common element: complexity. Florida Medicaid specifies an allowed income for individuals and couples in order to qualify for Medicaid. Also, the applicant’s total assets cannot exceed a specified amount called the Individual Resource Allowance, which in Florida is only $2,000. Although certain possessions, like your home and automobile, are “exempted” for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility, this figure is still alarming. If the applicant is married, the process becomes more complicated. For the recipient to qualify for Medicaid in Florida, the applicant’s spouse can keep the couple’s assets up to the Community Spouse Resource Allowance amount, which is $128,640 in 2020.* What can you do if the value of your “non-exempt” assets exceeds the Community Spouse Resource Allowance? If you give your extra assets away, which seems like an obvious choice, you will encounter greater problems. Violating this “Transfer Penalty Rule” could disqualify you from receiving Medicaid for months or years, depending on how much you gave away.
If your need for nursing home care is immediate, time is not something you can afford to lose. Why? Because you will have to pay with your own personal assets until you qualify for Medicaid.
* The Community Spouse Resource Allowance amount is adjusted every year. The current amount in effect at any given time may vary depending on when the most recent figures are released.
This is only a brief and oversimplified review of a few Medicaid rules, of which there are myriad more. Navigating them on your own could be a nightmare at best and subject you to penalties at worst. Fortunately, though, our experienced professionals can guide you through the Medicaid maze. We can advise you throughout the application process, ensuring that you retain the maximum income and total assets allowed by law.
We offer a 15-minute complimentary call with one of our team members to get to know you and your situation.
During the call, we will find out what your planning needs are so we can see if we can help you. We will also figure out if we would be a good fit for each other.
At the end of the call, we will set up a time to meet with the team and create a plan that will protect your family and preserve your legacy.