The timing of applying for nursing home Medicaid / ICP Medicaid eligibility is an important aspect of strategic estate planning. Clearly, applying late could result in you and/or your loved one having to private pay rather than receiving payment from the government. As you are aware, this can be a significant and costly mistake. Additionally, applying too early could be costly if gifts have been made to loved ones within the “look-back period.” As of this writing, this period in the State of Florida is five years. This could trigger a disqualification for a certain time period. We will address gifting and disqualification in further detail in another article here. Briefly, in Florida, the math is as follows. If a gift is made within five years of nursing home Medicaid application, we look at what the gift was and the amount. For simplicity, if the gift was $100,000.00 to your daughter three years ago and you are currently applying for ICP Medicaid, you would be subject to a “disqualification” period. The applicable factor in Florida is currently $5,000.00. So, for a $100,000.00 gift we would divide that by $5,000.00 ($100,000/$5,000) which = 20. Therefore, the individual applying for nursing home Medicaid eligibility would be “disqualified” from receiving Medicaid benefits for a period of 20 months. Again, should you like a more detailed explanation of gifting, the look-back period, and the disqualification period, please click here.
At Elder Planning Alliance, regarding the nursing home Medicaid application, we will require specific documentation from you. Additionally, if you are married we will request your spouses’ information as well. We will need a list of all of your current income and countable assets. We will also counsel you as to which of your assets are non-countable or exempt. For further discussion of income requirements and the difference between countable and non-countable assets click here.
Moreover, we will also need all pages of all bank account records going back usually for three months but possibly longer. We will also require the following to accurately file a nursing home Medicaid application:
- Copy of Power of Attorney Document
- Copy of Driver’s License or State ID – front and back
- Copy of Social Security Card – front and back
- Copy of Medicare card or HMO card – front and back
- Copy of Medicare Supplement Card – front and back & payment coupon or copy of bill
- Documentation of Social Security Benefits
- Documentation of current gross pension – must have award letter
- Documentation of gross VA benefits – must have award letter
- Qualified Income Trust Documentation (if needed)
- Copy of all Life Insurance Policies – showing face and cash values
- Copy of Pre-Paid Funeral Arrangements or Burial Contracts made irrevocable
- If Home or Property Owner, copy of Deed, Tax Notice, Mortgage, Insurance & Utility Bills
- If Mobile Home Owner, copy of Registration & most Recent Tax Bill
- If a Vehicle(s) Owned, need Copy of Vehicle Registration
I know this is a lot of information to digest. However, like anything else in life, if we want to do a great job and build the necessary foundation, we need to put the time and effort in. As a result, it helps us out when you and/or your loved ones are working in the same direction as us. Part of that process is gathering necessary information in advance. The last thing we would want is a delay in your application causing you to lose valuable nursing home Medicaid benefits.
Finally, regarding nursing home Medicaid eligibility and the nursing home Medicaid application process, I would like to briefly address the issue of retroactivity. If an individual is technically in a “Medicaid qualified state” at a certain date and had said individual applied for nursing home Medicaid eligibility at that time, then the applicant can possibly be covered starting on that date. In Florida, this period for retroactive coverage may be up to three months prior to the date of application (as long as the individual was in a “Medicaid qualified state” at that time).
Example: John did not believe he would fall within the parameters of Medicaid qualification for several months. After consulting with Elder Planning Alliance, John realized he actually was technically in a “Medicaid qualified state” and, therefore, promptly applied for Medicaid eligibility. As a result, Elder Planning Alliance was able to obtain nursing home Medicaid coverage going back three months.
Keep in mind, any period of time before that three month period will not be covered.
Should you and/or your loved ones have any questions or concerns with regards to nursing home Medicaid eligibility, ICP Medicaid qualification, Estate Planning or the Medicaid application process, please do not hesitate to contact our specialists at Elder Planning Alliance for a free initial consultation, toll free, at 1.866.372.2702.