If your spouse requires long-term care in a skilled nursing facility, the costs can be significant. Nursing homes can cost nearly $100,000 per year and many retirees could quickly exhaust their entire life savings paying for the costs of nursing care. This is a big problem when one spouse needs to go into a nursing home and the other spouse is healthy and does not want to become impoverished and have no money left to live on during retirement.
Medicaid does account for the fact that a healthy spouse, referred to as the community spouse, will need funds to live on even when his or her spouse enters a nursing home. As a result, there are spousal protection requirements in state and federal Medicaid laws.
An elder law attorney at the Elder Law Firm of Clements & Wallace, P.L. can provide legal assistance to couples who are trying to qualify for Medicaid benefits. We can help you determine what assets you can keep when your spouse qualifies for Medicaid. We can provide assistance with Medicaid planning to protect as much of your assets as possible from being spent down on nursing home costs before Medicaid eligibility begins.
WHAT ASSETS CAN YOU KEEP WHEN YOUR SPOUSE QUALIFIES FOR MEDICAID?
When your spouse is trying to qualify for Medicaid to help pay for nursing home care, the law requires that all resources held by either spouse are counted to determine Medicaid eligibility. All of the marital assets of the couple are added up and counted to determine the money available to pay for nursing home care.
A community spouse is able to deduct a community spouse resource allowance (CRSA) from the total countable assets and is allowed to keep this money and not spend it to pay for a nursing home. The couple’s total assets minus the CRSA is the amount that is considered available to pay for nursing home care when determining Medicaid eligibility. In Florida as of 2015, the CRSA is $119,220. Our attorneys are experienced in Medicaid planning and can utilize a variety of techniques to protect assets above the community spouse resource allowance.
The community spouse is also able to keep a certain portion of marital income to live on, rather than contributing that income to the cost of nursing home care. As of 2015, the minimum monthly income a spouse is allowed $1,966 and the maximum is $2,981.
The Elder Law Firm of Clements & Wallace, P.L. can explain exactly what resources you are allowed to keep when your spouse qualifies for Medicaid and can utilize a variety of techniques to help you plan for Medicaid eligibility. Call today to speak with a Lakeland elder law attorney to learn more.