The Law Office of Michael T. Heider, P.A. A Wills, Trusts, Estate And Elder Issues Practice

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Will you be able to qualify for Medicaid when you need it?

Elder Law Services

Medicaid benefits program helps those without insurance secure medical treatment without going into debt. Individuals in Florida with limited income and personal assets can potentially qualify for Medicaid coverage when they need medical treatment and do not currently have insurance that will cover that care.

Older adults typically qualify for Medicare coverage for routine medical needs. However, Medicare has rules about what it will cover. Those with more significant support needs may eventually realize that Medicare won’t cover the treatment or residential support they require. Medicaid is often necessary when someone needs to stay for months at a rehabilitation facility, when they need nursing support in their home or when they move into a nursing home. Older adults will need to plan ahead if they want to qualify for Medicaid.

The state limits your assets and income

The size of your household determines how much income you can have annually while still qualifying for Florida Medicaid. Retired adults living on a fixed income can often structure their budgets to qualify.

They will also have to think ahead about changing how they hold some of their property. Assets in your own name can prevent you from qualifying for Medicaid. There are very strict limits on personal property, with the exception of real estate. You can qualify for Medicaid with hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity in your primary residence. However, the state might make a claim against your estate after you die and expect your loved ones to sell your house to pay for your medical care.

How advanced planning helps

When you change the ownership of assets, you make it easier to qualify for Medicaid in the future. Typically, the state will go back over 60 months or five years of your financial activity. If you want to qualify quickly when you apply, you typically need to have made any major transfers at least five years before applying. Otherwise, there may be a penalty.

You can also change the ownership of your house to a trust to protect it from estate recovery efforts after your death. The right planning will give you access to financial support during retirement without putting your legacy at risk.

Learning more about Medicaid qualifications and other estate planning concerns will help you manage your finances and medical needs in your golden years.