Can a person apply for Medicaid before assets are spent down to below $2,000?
Once assets are down to $2,000, who is responsible for paying the nursing home costs while waiting for Medicaid approval — the wife, the children – and how much must be paid to the nursing home?
In Florida, an individual can apply for Medicaid benefits to pay nursing home costs before they are actually eligible. The approval will take effect upon the date the application is approved. While the nursing home resident’s application for Medicaid benefits is pending, the nursing home resident is considered “Medicaid pending.” When someone has the status “Medicaid pending,” generally the resident will pay all of the resident’s income to the nursing home facility. If the nursing home resident’s income is greater than what is allowed to qualify for Medicaid benefits, then a qualified income trust wil become necessary.
In some cases, a healthy spouse of the nursing home resident is entitled to a share of the nursing home resident’s income. In other cases, the spouse of the nursing home resident is entitled to a share of the nursing home resident’s assets. In those cases, the nursing home resident can transfer savings to the spouse rather than spending down assets to less than $2,000. As elder law attorneys, we can help you determine how these different scenarios will work in your situation.
For more on Medicaid’s protections for the healthy spouse so that the healthy spouse is not rendered indigent and can remain in the home after the nursing home resident is living in the nursing home (the “community spouse”), click here.
For more on shifting income to the healthy spouse from the spouse in the nursing home, without interfering with receiving the Medicaid benefits to pay the nursing home, click here.
For more on transferring assets to the healthy spouse to bring the nursing home resident’s assets below $2,000, click here.