Nursing Homes and Medicaid - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

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Nursing Homes and Medicaid

If your husband or wife is going to a nursing home, you are probably worried about the cost. Who will pay the bills? How will you live? Will you have to sell your home?

This article answers these questions and explains the complicated provisions under which financial aid in the form of Medicaid may be available for nursing home care. The pamphlet does not take the place of face-to-face legal or financial advice. Medicaid laws change fast. If you need additional information, there are numerous agencies that may help you, including your personal attorney.

What Is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a program run by the federal and state government. It pays for the medical care of persons who cannot afford to pay it themselves. Medicaid pays for nursing home care in certain cases. It may pay for your spouse's nursing home care. Your spouse may be eligible for Medicaid if your doctor determines that your spouse has to be in a nursing home and your spouse is eligible because 1) he or she is already receiving SSI or welfare benefits or 2) he or she is over 65, blind or disabled and has little income and assets.

How Much Income Can MySpouse Have To Get Medicaid?

To get Medicaid to pay for nursing home care, your spouse may not have a monthly income of more than 300% of the SSI rate for a single person. That comes to $1,635 a month effective January 1, 2002. This figure will go up every year. If your income exceeds the Medicaid income limit, an income trust can be established in order to qualify for Medicaid.

Will Medicaid Pay The Entire Nursing Home Bill Or DoesMy Spouse Have ToPay Something?

Your spouse may have to pay something. The state of Florida has a complicated formula for figuring the amount Medicaid recipients have to pay toward their nursing home care.

I Rely On My Spouse's Income.Do I Get To Keep Any Of It?

Yes. You get to keep a minimum monthly maintenance allowance. That comes to $1,493 per month, effective July 1, 2002. This amount will go up every year. If you have high shelter costs like rent, mortgage, taxes and insurance, you may be able to keep even more.

Does My Spouse  Get To Keep Any Money?

Yes, at present, Medicaid recipients in nursing homes get to keep $35 for personal needs.

Do These Rules Apply To A Spouse Already In A Nursing Home?

Yes. These rules became effective in September 1989. Everyone who has a spouse in a nursing home should make sure both they and their spouse are getting all the income they can.

My Spouse And I Have Money InThe Bank And Other Assets. DoAll Our Assets Have  To Go ToThe Nursing Home?

No. You can keep up to $89,280 worth of assets, effective January 1, 2002. This amount includes the nursing home spouse's $2,000 asset limit. This figure will change each year. Some things won't be counted toward the asset limit. For example, the following generally are not counted:

  • Your home
  • Your household and personal property
  • One car
  • Life insurance
  • Burial fund
  • Property you need for self-support

What If We Have Too ManyAssets When My Spouse GoesInto The Nursing Home?

Assets are looked at the time you apply for Medicaid. If the two of you have too many assets your spouse will not be eligible for Medicaid.


The information contained herein is published for the purpose of providing general legal information to the public for educational purposes. This information is not intended as a substitute for the hiring of a lawyer in order to assist in answering specific legal questions or providing specific legal advise. In addition, while all efforts have been made to insure that the information contained herein, it is not warranted as such. All those visiting this site should remember there is no substitute for obtaining qualified legal representation by an attorney licensed by the Florida Bar.


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