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Medicaid Planning Part II

Will I lose all my assets and/or income if me or my spouse need to go into a nursing home?

Last month we focused on income qualification for Medicaid Long Term Care (“Medicaid LTC”). This month we are going to focus on asset qualification for Medicaid LTC. With respect to asset limits, assets for an applicant can’t be more than $2,000.00 (not including non-countable assets such as the homestead, vehicle, irrevocable funeral contract, designated funeral account, and other non-countable assets or assets treated as in-come for Medicaid LTC qualifying purposes). The non-applicant spouse, referred to as the Community Spouse, may have no more than $137,400.00 in assets (for 2022). Oftentimes, assets are transferred to the Community Spouse to allow the applicant to qualify. However, what happens if the assets are greater than the allowed limit for the Community Spouse?

We have many tools in the state of Florida that we can use to protect your assets. If you do your Medicaid planning enough in advance, we typically have more options for protecting assets. However, for this month, we are going to focus on those who have not planned in advance.

Although you are often able to protect more assets with advanced planning, there are still a variety of strategies that your attorney can recommend to protect your assets. The first common strategy is called a “spend down.” This includes, among other things, paying off credit cards, vehicle loans, medical bills, and even mortgages if there are enough assets to cover all of these liabilities. Once any outstanding loans and bills are paid off, the attorney may recommend an irrevocable funeral contract wherein you plan for and purchase your final expenses including a plot, casket, burial, ceremony, etc. It is crucial that this contract be irrevocable. Otherwise, the amount of the contract will be considered an available asset for paying for nursing home care. Attorneys also commonly create Personal Services Contracts which involve paying someone a lump sum payment for caring for the applicant. The services can include physically caring for that person and caring for that person’s finances.

Each of these options has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to consult with a Medicaid Planning Attorney to come up with the best options. Bottom line, if you want to protect your assets in the event you need skilled nursing home care in the future, contact an attorney to begin your planning for Medicaid LTC now!
If you have questions regarding Medicaid eligibility, it is important to consult with a Medicaid Planning Attorney to come up with your best options.

Please contact Mara Law, P.A. at 555 West Granada Blvd., Ste. D-10, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174, Telephone: 386.672.8081.