Lake Mary Medicaid Planning Attorney
For many older adults, the best way—and often the only options—to pay for long-term care is through Medicaid. Yet there are specific requirements to have Medicaid pay for long-term care, and it is critical to plan ahead. An experienced Lake Mary Medicaid planning attorney at our firm is here to help you plan for the future.
What is Medicaid in Lake Mary?
One of the primary ways that older adults in Florida pay for long-term care is Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal health program for low-income seniors and low-income people regardless of age. According to Medicaid.gov, the program currently provides coverage to approximately 7.2 million low-income older adults aged 65 and older. Many seniors who qualify for Medicaid are also eligible to receive benefits through Medicare, and currently around 12 million older adults are dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid.
There are four different types of Medicaid coverage: Part A pays for hospitalizations, Part B pays for physician and outpatient care, Part C can pay for medical care offered by private companies, and Part D can provide money for prescription drug costs. Medicaid can provide 100 percent of a low-income senior’s nursing home care costs at a nursing home approved by the government. However, you must be eligible to receive long-term care coverage.
How Do I Plan for Medicaid in Lake Mary?
In order to be eligible for Medicaid coverage for nursing home costs or other in-home long-term care costs, you must have sufficiently low income and assets. Medicaid can pay for institutional or nursing home costs, as well as home-based long-term care. Since Medicaid is a program for low-income individuals, older adults aged 65 and up will often need to “spend down” assets in order to qualify for long-term care coverage from Medicaid. However, spending down assets too quickly, and too close to the date of needing long-term care, can result in substantial penalties.
To qualify as an individual, you cannot have assets of more than $2,000, and you cannot have a monthly income exceeding $2,349. In order to get your assets down to that amount, you must “spend down,” yet you cannot do so during the “look back” period. Florida has a five-year look back period for Medicaid nursing home care. What this means is that you cannot transfer assets to children, family members, or anyone else in order to spend down your assets within the five-year period before you seek Medicaid long-term care coverage. If you do transfer assets to get down to the eligibility amount within the five-year period in which you seek Medicaid coverage, you will be assessed a significant penalty. As of July 2019, the transfer penalty is $9,485.
Contact a Lake Mary Medicaid Planning Attorney for Help
Medicaid planning is complicated, and you will want to do everything you can to avoid a transfer penalty. Our experienced Lake Mary Medicaid planning lawyers can help. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to learn more about the services we provide. Contact the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. today for additional information.