Nursing home care is an expense that few can cover using their monthly income, and paying for care over an extended period of time can be devastating to an older person’s retirement savings. For this reason, there are government programs in place to help pay for nursing home care.
Factors of a Medicaid Application
When it’s time to actually apply for Medicaid, there are four main factors that will be considered: your health needs, income, assets, and transfers of wealth over the past five years.
- Health: a specific government assessment shows a need for skilled nursing care.
- Income: must be below a certain level; if income is above that level, a special type of trust account can be set up.
- Assets: some assets, like a car and a house, can be kept; others you’re expected to liquidate and use to pay for care.
- Transfers: transferring money away from yourself in order to qualify for Medicaid will be penalized.
This type of estate planning is complicated and Medicaid rules change frequently. What you hear from a friend in one state may not be true in Florida; what works for a married couple may not work for a single person; and you definitely can’t believe everything you read online. Planning for long-term care is an involved process and everyone’s situation is unique, so we encourage you to make an appointment for a consultation tailored to your needs.