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What you need to know about Medicaid planning

Feb 3, 2022 | Long-Term Care Planning

You want your aging parent to have the best care available, but nursing homes cost a small fortune. The government offers Medicaid to help ease this burden, but only if you meet their specific parameters to qualify.

When considering Medicaid, a few frequently asked questions could help.

Who is eligible for Medicaid?

The nursing home candidate must pass tests for both income and assets to qualify for Medicaid. In Florida, an individual must have less than $2,523 per month of gross income and less than $2,000 in assets. Anything over these amounts could mean the refusal of their application.

What does “spend down” mean?

When liquid means exceed $2,000, you could still qualify. “Spending down” allows you to reduce your assets to meet Medicaid’s limit. Use extra money to pay for things that do not count towards the asset total. Since a primary dwelling is exempt, you could spend the excess on necessary home improvements.

What is a QIT?

If your loved one’s earnings exceed Medicaid’s threshold, a Qualified Income Trust, or QIT, could help. Any revenue over the limit goes directly into the account. Money moved to this fund no longer counts towards monthly gross income, and the applicant then qualifies for Medicaid.

What happens to the money in a Qualified Income Trust?

Funds placed in the trust hold the specific purpose of paying for long-term care. The state, not a family member, is the automatic beneficiary of a QIT.

With proper estate planning, you can ensure your elderly relative gets the care they need.