Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for those who meet certain eligibility guidelines. For people who are under age 65 and do require long term care in a nursing facility, eligibility is mostly based on income; therefore, these applications typically aren’t very difficult. People who need Medicaid to assist in covering long term care expenses, such as nursing home or home-based services, must meet more strict eligibility standards based on income and asset information of the applicant and his or her spouse.
In some cases, it may not be necessary to seek out the advice of an attorney to prepare an application for Medicaid to help cover the costs of nursing home or home-based services. An unmarried or widowed person over the age of 65 with gross monthly income under $2,349.00 (effective January 1, 2020 — this figure changes every year), no home, no more than one vehicle, and less than $2,000.00 in total “countable assets”, which include all bank, investment, and retirement accounts, as well as the cash value of annuities and cash-value life insurance policies, likely does not need assistance in applying for Medicaid benefits. A married person with gross monthly income under $2,349.00, no home, no more than one vehicle, and less than $25,716.00 (effective January 1, 2020 — changes every year) in total “countable assets”, where one spouse resides in the community (assisted living, apartment, with a relative, etc.) and the other spouse resides in a nursing facility or requires home-based services, also likely does not need assistance in applying for Medicaid benefits.
Individuals seeking Medicaid eligibility who exceed the $2,349.00 (effective January 1, 2020) gross monthly income limit need a Miller Trust checking account in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits; you may find a template of this form, along with instructions, at www.EvansvilleAttorney.com.
In both married and unmarried cases, there is a five-year look-back period for gifting; this applies to any large gifts or transfers of assets have taken place during the five-year period leading up to the application of Medicaid.
You should seek the advice of an attorney who practices in asset protection for “Nursing Home – Medicaid” cases if: “countable assets” exceed the above-referenced limits, real estate is owned, or large gifts have taken place over the five-year period leading up to the Medicaid application. Please contact my office at 812–423-1500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.