Many people have heard that to qualify for ICP nursing home Medicaid benefits (Institutional Care Program also known as Nursing Home Medicaid) you have to spend down all of your assets. Additionally, individuals have heard you must have little to no income or you will not qualify for nursing home Medicaid benefits. This is only partially true. If you don’t know the rules or don’t go to a knowledgeable company like Elder Planning Alliance, you may very well spend much more than you need to. The risk is real that you will wait longer than you should to apply for nursing home Medicaid benefits.
In this article I will be talking about income and the rules concerning qualifying for ICP nursing home Medicaid benefits. The rules and guidelines I will be writing about concern Florida ICP nursing home Medicaid and the qualification process for this state only. Nursing home Medicaid is a federally funded program that is state run. This means that each and every state has its own laws pertaining to nursing home Medicaid. The rules and regulations I will be talking about in this article pertain to Florida nursing home Medicaid rules only. Please refer to your own state’s policy and do not assume your state follows the same guidelines as Florida.
I would like to point out that the information I provide in these articles must not be interpreted as legal advice. Additionally, nursing home Medicaid is very complex and all the intricate nuances cannot possibly be covered in one article. Elder Planning Alliance has helped hundreds of individuals and families through the nursing home Medicaid qualification process. In more than ten years of being in business, we have a 100% success rate in closing applications for individuals who desire nursing home Medicaid qualification. Additionally, Elder Planning Alliance is proud to enjoy an A+ accredited rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Income limits for the confined person
A person confined to a nursing facility applying for nursing home Medicaid benefits may have a maximum allowable income limit of $2,094 of gross income per month. Even one cent over this maximum limit disqualifies a person from qualifying for nursing home Medicaid. There is a way to solve this problem which I will address shortly. A single person pays all of their gross income to the nursing home with the exception of a few things. They have a personal needs allowance of $35 dollars per month they may keep to pay for haircuts, candy bars etc. In addition to the personal needs allowance, if a confined individual has a Medicare Supplement, nursing home Medicaid allows for the premiums to be paid out of the confined individual’s income. If there is a community spouse (the healthy spouse), he or she may be entitled to receive a portion of the confined spouses income under what is referred to as the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Income Allowance or MMMIA.
The Qualified Irrevocable Income Trust
How then when the average cost of a nursing home in Florida is now approximately $7,500 per month can this person receive benefits? Through the use of what is referred to as a Qualified Irrevocable Income Trust. These Trusts are sometimes referred to as a QIT and also known as a Miller Trust. An attorney needs to draft and execute a QIT; the trust is notarized and then taken to a bank where a checking account is opened up in the name of the trust. Each month the confined person’s income gets deposited into the trust checking account, and then distributed to the nursing home, spouse or a combination of both depending on the confined individuals’ patient responsibility.
There is no limit to what a spouse can have in income. If the community spouse makes $10,000 per month it does not disqualify the confined spouse (spouse in nursing home care) from receiving nursing home Medicaid benefits. However, the community spouse is entitled to receive at least a minimum of $1,839 in monthly income. This is referred to as the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Income Allowance or MMMIA. The MMMIA is an amount based on the basic housing expenses of the community spouse. If the community spouse does not receive at least $1,839, they are entitled to a portion of the confined spouse’s income to reach this minimum. Based on the basic living expenses, the community spouse may be entitled to up to $2,841 in MMMIA. This is a calculation based on rent or mortgage, utilities, home owners insurance, property taxes, association fees etc. Some things not included are groceries, car payment or car insurance, cable or lawn maintenance.
I cannot possibly cover all of the intricate nuances of nursing home Medicaid in one article. I do hope this information was helpful in your quest to gain more knowledge of Florida nursing home Medicaid and the qualification process concerning income. I welcome your questions and comments. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to go to our website and look through the information there. You may contact us from that web site. If you have a loved one currently seeking nursing home Medicaid qualification or are considering the nursing home Medicaid application process, I strongly suggest you contact the nursing home Medicaid specialists at Elder Planning Alliance. We will qualify you for nursing home Medicaid and protect and preserve your assets. Elder Planning Alliance is happy to offer you a free consultation. Please do not hesitate to contact us, toll free, at 1-866-372-2702.