Our goal as a Life Care Planning law firm is to promote good health, safety and well-being of the elder/client. When appropriate and reasonable, we will engage in Medicaid planning. Medicaid is the government program to assist the needy with the extraordinary cost of medical care which includes nursing home and assisted living benefits.
All but the most simple cases will need an attorney's help to properly plan and protect the elder's assets in the face of nursing home and assisted living costs. We will help guide you through the public benefits maze, helping prioritize and protect assets in the correct way. With our team, you will have the right help understanding all of your options and the best way to proceed for your individual situation.
In order to receive these benefits, the following strict asset and income guidelines must be in place:
2016 Asset and Income Levels for Florida Nursing Home and Assisted Living Medicaid
- Assets allowed for single applicant - $2,000
- Assets allowed for the community spouse - $119,220
- Gross income for the Medicaid applicant - Less than $2,199* per month
- Gross income for the spouse - Unlimited
- Minimum Spousal income diversion - $1,966/month (until 6/30/15)
- Maximum Spousal income diversion - $2,980.50/month
- Exempt value of home (2016)- $552,000
*If income is higher, a qualified income trust will be required.
Medicare Part A
Hospital Co-Pay per Benefit Period $1,260
Skilled Nursing Facility Co-Pay for days 1-20 - $0.00
Skilled Nursing Facility Co-Pay for days 21-100 - $161.00
Medicare Part B
Premium deductible for Individuals with less than $85,000/year income - $104.90
Quick Facts: Unravel Medicaid Myths
Myth: You must sell your home in order to become eligible for Medicaid.
Reality: An applicant's homestead is exempt if there is intent to return home, no matter how remote that possibility is. However, there are issues if the family will need to sell the home due to a loved one's extended stay in a long-term facility.
Myth: I am allowed to gift away up to $10,000 per year per person to enable me to become eligible for Medicaid.
Reality: The annual gift tax exclusion, which has increased to $13,000, is a matter of Federal estate and gift tax law. The Medicaid ineligibility period has nothing to do with this gift tax exemption. Outside of some very specific exemptions, no gifting of any kind is allowed within five years of a Medicaid application.
Myth: If the applicant has joint bank accounts, the other owner can simply take the joint assets and the applicant will then become eligible.
Reality: This is a transfer that will cause periods of ineligibility, just like most other gifts of property.
Myth: Medicaid patients receive lower or less treatment than do their private pay counterparts.
Reality: It is illegal to discriminate between public and private pay patients.
Myth: Even if asset protection planning is performed, the State gets everything upon my death.
Reality: It is true that Medicaid (i.e., the State of Florida) is a creditor in your estate, just like any other creditor. But, if you assets avoid the probate process, your creditors will have nothing to make a claim against. Also, your homestead property, usually the most valuable asset, is exempt from creditors under the Florida Constitution.
Myth: I don't need an attorney to help with Medicaid.
Reality: The truth is that when the elder's income or assets are above the bare minimum, an attorney is indispensable to the application process.
You Need Experienced Attorneys to Properly Plan for Medicaid
DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis is dedicated to elderly citizens of St. Petersburg, Seminole, and Pinellas County. Our board certified elder law attorney, D. "Rep" DeLoach, III and his staff are ready and willing to help you. If you have any questions or concerns that you'd like to discuss with us, give us a call or contact us online any time.