Tampa Medicaid Attorney
Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for long term care. But Medicaid does. There is a catch, however: Medicaid is only available to individuals and couples who have essentially zero assets, and very small incomes. This means that the average person has to either spend down their entire life savings and possibly even sell their home in order to qualify, or use up all of their hard-earned assets to pay for long term nursing and assisted living out of their own pockets. Neither of these scenarios is desirable, particularly if you would like to leave something behind for your children, grandchildren, or other heirs. But if you start now by planning ahead, you can avoid both of these scenarios by keeping your assets and qualifying for Medicaid at the same time. The Tampa Medicaid attorney at Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. can assist you with both pre-crisis long term care planning as well as crisis planning if you need to take action immediately.
Do I Qualify for Medicaid as My Financial Situation Currently Stands?
In order to qualify for Medicaid, a single applicant needs to have less than $2,000 in assets and be receiving an income less than $2,289 per month. For a couple, their assets cannot be greater than $3,000 and their combined income $4,578 per month. If one spouse requires long term care but the other does not, the well spouse cannot have assets greater than $137,400, not counting the family home. And, for a single person, their home equity cannot be greater than $636,000 unless they have a spouse, child under 21, or a blind/disabled child living in the home.
There Are Two Types of Medicaid Planning
- Pre-Crisis Planning—The most desirable option for Medicaid planning is to start early, long before you or your spouse might need to reside in a long term care facility. Pre-crisis planning needs to begin more than five years before you apply for Medicaid due to the five-year look back period. During this five year look-back, if Medicaid sees transactions in which you transferred assets to another party and did not receive fair market value for that transfer, you will be deemed ineligible for Medicaid. An example of this would be gifting all of one’s assets to their children a year or two before applying for Medicaid, which would disqualify that person from long term care benefits.
- Crisis Planning—We understand that not everyone has the time to begin planning for Medicaid a half decade in advance. If you, your spouse, or your elderly loved one need nursing care or assisted living benefits now, a QIT (qualified income trust) is just one pathway towards qualifying for Medicaid if the applicant’s income (such as an income through a pension) is too high.
Pre-Crisis Planning With a Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAPT)
If you have time to work with (more than five years before you will require long term care), creating a Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAPT) to reduce your assets is most likely your best option for qualifying for Medicaid. Depending on what type of asset you use to fund your MAPT, you can either collect income on the investments or continue living in your home indefinitely (if you require long term care but make an improvement later on).
Call a Tampa Medicaid Attorney Today
A qualified Tampa Medicaid attorney can help you come up with a solution for Medicaid qualification without you losing all of your hard-earned money. Call Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C., today at 813-286-1700 to schedule a free consultation.