Estate Planning Law Office of Attorney Joseph F. Pippen, Jr. & Associates
   
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FLORIDA MEDICAID

 

   

Q.  Iím not certain I can qualify for Florida Medicaid.  How can my estate be preserved from the potentially overwhelming costs of nursing home care?

A.  It is not uncommon for individuals to pay as much as $70,000.00 a year for nursing home care for a family member, and that cost may not even include medicine and medical care.  If one can qualify for Medicaid coverage, Medicaid will pay for the cost of nursing home care (in excess of the nursing home patientís gross income), medical and psychiatric care, any gaps in Medicare insurance, and all medications.

            Fortunately, the State of Florida has very favorable asset-protection laws, and, with professional legal help, it is quite possible for a person to qualify for Medicaid while preserving his estate. An attorney familiar with this field of law can offer several legal strategies for individuals and married couples to qualify for Medicaid coverage who might otherwise be unable to do so.  Typically the strategies involve rearranging assets in such a way as to make them ďnon-countableĒ when applying for Medicaid.

            Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation among the public regarding Medicaid qualification.  One of the reasons is that although Medicaid is a federal program, each state has its own rules for Medicaid qualification, and often they are quite different from one another.  Be sure to seek legal and financial counsel from a professional familiar with the most recent Medicaid regulations of your state for accurate information.

Q.  What does Medicaid cover once a nursing home patient has qualified for it?

A.  For a single person, Medicaid will pay for room and board at the nursing home, less the residentís gross monthly income.  The resident is also permitted to keep $35.00 a month for his or her personal needs.  For a married person, a nursing home residentís spouse may be allowed to keep some or all of the residentís gross income, depending on the financial circumstances of the spouse.  In addition, Medicaid will pay for the following:

1.      In-patient and out-patient medical care;

2.      Surgery;

3.      Hospitalization;

4.      Transportation to and from the hospital;

5.      Dialysis;

6.      Psychiatric care and counseling;

7.      Medical supplies;

8.      Medication.

 

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