For additional Florida Medicaid Information, Assistance with Estate Planning and Veterans Benefits, Click here to visit Senior Information Centers.
Florida Medicaid Planning
- Medicaid Pre-Planning prepares for long-term care, whether in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or special home health care services. Pre-planning is essential to prevent financial devastation.
- Crisis Medicaid Planning is when an individual will be entering a nursing home within a short period of time or is already in a nursing facility and needs to qualify for Medicaid immediately. This is a crucial time, so if you would to speak with a planner at Senior Information Center who specializes in Florida Medicaid.
The Florida Medicaid Institutional Care Program (ICP nursing home benefits) looks at three criteria test to determine eligibility, which are technical, medical and financial.
There are certain criteria for Medicaid eligibility that fall into three basic categories.
- Technical: This criteria includes, age, citizenship and residency requirements
- Medical: To obtain nursing home Medicaid benefits a person must be disabled, blind, or aged. As well as meet a nursing home level of care. This assessment will be completed by the Department of Elder Affairs (Cares Units).
- Financial: This category includes income and assets. Florida is an Income Cap state which means there is an income limit for Medicaid eligibility. This includes income receive from Social Security, pensions, IRAs and all other forms of income. If the growth income is found to be over the Medicaid limit and irrevocable income trust (also known as a Miller Trust) is necessary. This gross income must be verified from the source.
To be Medicaid eligible, the applicant is only allow to have $2000 in assets. However, the community spouse is entitled to keep more. All of the married couple’s assets are considered whether they are held jointly or separately. It does not matter if all the assets are held jointly or separately in each spouse’s name.
Some assets may be exempt, such as a home and its contents, a vehicle, prepaid funerals and cemetery lots, and certain types of trusts. However, it is important to evaluate each asset carefully before one can know if the asset is countable or exempt.
Examples of countable assets are cash in the bank, cash, stocks, annuities, bonds, land, minerals, non homestead property, notes receivable, boats, and certain extra vehicles. The amount of Countable assets change each year.
Cost for creating a Trust
Single person: $399
Married under the estate tax exemption: $499
Married over the estate tax exemption (AB Trust): $699
- Living will: A written statement detailing a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, esp. an advance directive.
- Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney is a legal document delegating authority from one person to another. In the document, the maker of the Power of Attorney (the “principal”) grants the right to act on the maker’s behalf to an agent. What authority is granted depends on the specific language of the Power of Attorney. A person giving a Power of Attorney may make it very broad or may limit it to certain specific acts.
- Health Care Surrogate: It is a document naming another person as your representative to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. You can include instructions about any treatment you want or do not want, similar to a living will. You can also designate an alternate surrogate.
Florida Living Trusts, Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, and Living Will
A Trust is a legal entity that is an efficient and flexible estate planning tool. A Trust is created to own, manage, and distribute assets to beneficiaries with minimal involvement from the courts thus avoiding the probate process.
Living Trusts are valid in all 50 states. However, we advise that if you move to Florida that you have your trust amended to Florida laws and change of address be made. More info on Living Trusts