Medicaid is by far the largest health insurance provider in the United States. Qualified recipients in Florida receive their benefits through a three-tiered system that includes Managed Medical Assistance, Long-Term Care Services, and Dental Care. As with any federal assistance program, there are somewhat stringent and complicated eligibility requirements that must be met.
Why Do I Need Asset Protection for Florida Medicaid?
Perhaps the most cumbersome and problematic aspect of qualifying for Medicaid benefits is the asset limitations. In short, applicants with too many assets do not qualify for Medicaid benefits. In 2021, single Medicaid applicants must have an income less than $2,382 per month and no more than $2,000 in countable assets to qualify. Married couples that both apply can have no more than $3,000 in countable assets.
However, any assets placed in a trust are ineligible to be counted toward your Medicaid asset limit. This means that with some prior planning, you can protect most of your assets and preserve them for your loved ones while still being able to legally qualify for Medicaid benefits.
The Florida Medicaid Asset Protection Trust
These types of trusts are often called Florida Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts because that is their primary purpose. Not all types of trusts are Medicaid-compliant, so it is important to work with a seasoned Florida elder law attorney from Mortellaro Law to be sure you are taking the right path to maintain Medicaid eligibility.
When you set aside certain assets into a Florida Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, under the law, you no longer own these assets – they belong to the trust. Although you may even continue to enjoy some of these assets, they legally belong to the trust, and therefore, cannot be counted as your assets. This means it is as if they do not exist when you apply for Medicaid benefits.
This asset protection measure must be set into place before Medicaid’s 5-year “look-back period.” This period is established to keep applicants from sheltering their assets immediately before applying for Medicaid, in an effort to get benefits. Any asset protection trust established before this five-year period is exempt.
Florida Estate Planning – Medicaid Asset Protection Attorneys
Too many Florida residents may be forced into selling assets to pay for nursing home or long-term care, leaving their loved ones with nothing. No one wants to see the efforts of a lifetime spent in this way. Preserving these assets allows you to take advantage of Medicaid long-term care provisions while passing on treasured assets to your loved ones.
Mortellaro Law asset protection attorneys can work with you to protect your assets from being liquidated and lost to pay for long-term care, and keep them from counting against you when applying for Medicaid. There are also other measures we can help you with to prepare for the future. Contact us today and schedule a Medicaid planning consultation.