Medicaid Planning Attorney FL
The attorneys of Slonim Law assist families in applying for Medicaid for their loved ones, either in crisis or prior. By using the latest planning techniques in asset preservation, the Medicaid planning that we do helps families safeguard thousands of dollars of their loved ones’ assets. Contact the Medicaid planning lawyers at Slonim Law to ensure your family has peace of mind during this challenging time in life. Whether it’s placing a family member in a long term care facility or getting on the community based waiver program, we can help.
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The What’s and How’s of Medicaid
with Barbara & Katie
Medicaid planning may seem like a daunting task but don’t stress! We are here to help and simplify it for you.
Lets start from the top.
Medicaid Planning is the process of assisting families with qualifying and applying for Medicaid insurance benefits to be used for long term care, whether in crisis or prior. Legal planning techniques are used to safeguard assets, preserve those assets from being depleted and assist with the cost of nursing home care.
There are 3 types of Medicaid:
- The Institutional Care Program (ICP Medicaid)- used for nursing facilities
- The Medicaid Waiver Program- used for an assisted living facility or home care
- The Waitlist for Waiver Program based on Need- where clients call the Aging Disability Resource Center (ADRC) for an intake interview and the attorneys of Slonim Law assist with the process.
What Documents Do I Need?
Here at Slonim Law we have a few set documents we use. The most commonly used Medicaid planning legal documents are the Qualified Income Trust (QIT) and the Personal Service Contract (PSC).
The QIT is used when an applicant’s income is over the income limit for Medicaid. Excess income is transferred each month to a QIT bank account. The PSC is used to preserve an applicant’s assets and transfer funds to a care provider.
Did you know? The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) processes all Medicaid applications and determines eligibility.
How Long Does it Take?
As with everything legal, there are timelines to be followed. We like our schedules around here! Applications for Medicaid must be submitted by 5:00pm on or prior to the last day of the month in order to be eligible for that month. The process usually takes 30-45 days, but it can take up to 60 days depending on your financial situation. The annual process of renewing Medicaid benefits involves completing the online application and providing to DCF the applicant’s current income and asset verifications.
What about Medicaid Patient Liability?
Medicaid patient liability is the amount paid to the facility each month. This amount is based on the applicant’s income versus private pay amount of $10,000- $20,000 per month.
What does our team do?
So our job is to ensure you have all the verification documents in order as DCF and Medicaid require very specific documents regarding you and your spouse’s income, assets and expenses. We submit the Medicaid applications and annual recertification applications then follow up with you and the facilities regarding any other documentation needed. Most importantly, we working with DCF and the Centers for Excellence in resolving any case issues that may arise.
Medicaid Planning does not have to be a huge task for you. We are here to help. Hop onto our website and book an appointment online. Or, you can call us at (321) 757-5701 extension 201 and Barbara will assist you with making an appointment. Either way, we look forward to working with you soon and hope this helped ease your worries!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Medicaid Planning?
For all practical purposes, in the United States the only “insurance” plan for long-term institutional care is Medicaid. Lacking access to alternatives such as paying privately or being covered by a long-term care insurance policy, most people pay out of their own pockets for long-term care until they become eligible for Medicaid. Although their names are confusingly alike, Medicaid and Medicare are quite different programs. For one thing, all retirees who receive Social Security benefits also receive Medicare as their health insurance. Medicare is an “entitlement” program. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a form of welfare — or at least that’s how it began. So to be eligible for Medicaid, you must become “impoverished” under the program’s guidelines.
Also, unlike Medicare, which is totally federal, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. Each state operates its own Medicaid system, but this system must conform to federal guidelines in order for the state to receive federal money, which pays for about half the state’s Medicaid costs. (The state picks up the rest of the tab.)
This complicates matters, since the Medicaid eligibility rules are somewhat different from state to state, and they keep changing. (The states also sometimes have their own names for the program, such as “MediCal” in California and “MassHealth” in Massachusetts.) Both the federal government and most state governments seem to be continually tinkering with the eligibility requirements and restrictions. This has most recently occurred with the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (the DRA) which significantly changed rules governing the treatment of asset transfers and homes of nursing home residents. The implementation of these changes will proceed state-by-state over the next few years. The rules for gaining eligibility to the program are explained in detail in the Medicaid section of this site. But to be certain of your rights, consult an expert. He or she can guide you through the complicated rules of the different programs and help you plan ahead.
Those who are not in immediate need of long-term care may have the luxury of distributing or protecting their assets in advance. This way, when they do need long-term care, they will quickly qualify for Medicaid benefits. Giving general rules for so-called “Medicaid planning” is difficult because every client’s case is different. Some have more savings or income than others. Some are married, others are single. Some have family support, others do not. Some own their own homes, some rent. Still, a number of basic strategies and tools are typically used in Medicaid planning. These are described below.
Medicaid Planning Attorney FL
What are the basic requirements to be eligible?
To be eligible for the Medicaid Institutional Care Program, an applicant needs to satisfy the following:
U.S. Citizen (or Legal Permanent Resident, 5 years or more)
Aged, Blind, or Disabled
Placed in a Medicaid Approved Skilled Nursing Facility
Receiving 24 hours a day/7 days a week Skilled Care (Intermediate I or II Skilled Care) and must be and an appropriate placement
Must have applied for all benefits available (VA benefits, etc…)
Do I have to sell my home to qualify for Florida Medicaid?
No, you do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid in Florida. Your home is considered your homestead in Florida if it is your primary residence. Also, the statement of ‘intent to return’ from the nursing home resident protects their home from attachment.
If my spouse has to go into a nursing home, how will I be able to live on just my social security income alone?
How long does it take to decide my Medicaid eligibility?
Can my child still take money out of our joint account without it affecting my Medicaid eligibility?
Is it possible to get Medicaid in Florida if the applicant’s income is $3,000 per month, for example?
My sick spouse is at a skilled nursing facility and I have been told that I have to spend down all of my assets before I can get Medicaid? Is this true? How will I care for myself?
If I receive a military disability retirement, can I still receive Medicaid?
If my spouse and I both live at home, can we both apply for Medicaid?
How long does it typically take to be approved for Medicaid?
Are my spouse’s income and assets included in my application for Medicaid?
Medicaid Planning Attorney FL