First Steps to Crisis Planning
Ideally, every adult should have a long-term care and disability plan, since many chronic illnesses and injuries come without warning. This is particularly true for older Americans. The absence of a plan may place an emotional, physical and financial strain on family members who may need to pay for medical assistance or provide help with your daily activities. You can ease these burdens through Medicaid crisis management.
Medicaid crisis planning requires long-term care strategies that work immediately to manage your care and save as much of your assets and income as possible under drastic circumstances. The first step is to determine whether you qualify for Medicaid, a process that requires a review of your current income and assets.
Florida Medicaid income limits
To receive Medicaid benefits in Florida, you cannot exceed a certain level of income and assets. The state specifies that the maximum amount allowed for income is $2,163 for individuals.
Florida asset limits
Your total assets cannot exceed $2,000 if you are single. If you are married, your assets cannot exceed $2,000 and your spouse's cannot exceed $117,240 if you are married. Medicaid regulations allow you to exempt certain possessions, such as your home and automobile.
Crisis planning strategies
When faced with the prospect of paying the high costs of care at a nursing home, some seniors make the mistake of giving away money and other assets to qualify for Medicaid. This often triggers the transfer penalty rule and disqualifies them from receiving Medicaid for months or even years. Others make the mistake of exhausting their assets to pay for their care. Neither is necessary if you properly plan for Medicaid. If your level of income and assets exceeds the guidelines, there are several strategies, including a Medicaid trust, that an experienced attorney can establish for you.
For more information about qualifying for Medicaid while preserving your assets, consult with a Tampa Bay estate planning attorney today.