Nov 7, 2011

Applying for Long-Term Care Medicaid Benefits? Eligibility requirements changing in 2012

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have announced some key changes in qualifications for Medicaid long-term care benefits. The following changes will take effect January 1, 2012:

Changes in income criteria:

Applicant's income: The applicant will now be able to retain  monthly income up to $2094 (was $2022.) However, if the applicant has excess income, our Florida Certified Elder Law Attorneys can establish a Qualified Income Trust (also known as a Miller Trust) that will help the applicant qualify for benefits, assuming he or she meets all other criteria.

Spouse's income:  Theres is no limit on the spouse's income. However, if the spouse's income is below $1838.75 (was $1839), a portion of the applicant's income may be diverted to the spouse.

Changes in asset criteria:

Applicant's assets:  Applicant may not have countable assets in excess of $2000 (unchanged from 2011).

Spouse's Assets:  The well spouse may retain up to $113,640 in countable assets (was $109,560).

Change in homestead equity limit:
Applicants may have no more than $525,000 in equity in their homestead property (was $506,000).

If you are seeking Medicaid benefits to pay for the cost of a loved one's long-term nursing care, you should know that there are legal strategies that can often make someone eligible, even if he/she has excess assets or income, or the spouse has excess assets. Contact our Florida Medicaid Attorneys for advice. We can often help preserve a good portion of the family's assets, even if the applicant is already in a nursing facility.

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