Florida Medicaid Planning
As of 2018, the median annual cost in Florida for a semi-private room in a nursing home was $110,047.50 (up from $100,152.00 in 2016) (Florida Agency for Health Care Administration). That’s per person, per year, and that number is likely to keep growing.
Florida Medicaid planning is the legal practice of restructuring the income and assets of a senior to help them qualify for Florida Medicaid benefits. It might be obvious, but this practice is vitally important because the average senior and their families are not financially prepared to pay for long-term care out of pocket, and it’s just as common that no provisions have been made in the event a need for long-term care arises.
Why should you seek guidance from a lawyer for this? Well, because a legitimate Elder Law attorney is going to be able to discuss the difference between countable and non-countable assets, earned versus unearned income, and will be able to help you understand the requirements of the 3 basic tests- Medical, Income, and Asset. Trust us, these classifications are not always logical and sometimes seem to contradict another classification altogether. This is why before we design any plan of action for your family, Worley Elder Law will complete a careful analysis of the current assets, income, medical expenses, Estate documents already in place, and of course, the desires of the senior. We’re here to help you navigate the options available to protect your family.
Now, you may be thinking it’ll be years before you need to start worrying about Medicaid, and hopefully you’re right. But there’s one more roadblock to be aware of- the 60 month look back period. All those classifications and tests noted above? Yeah, Medicaid considers everything that has happened for the 60 months prior to applying for Medicaid. Just curious, can you recall what that random $1,783 payment 3 years and 4 months ago was for? And can you prove the details? This is why it’s worth discussing before Medicaid is needed.