Medicaid planning should be a component of the long-term care strategy for your family, and as such should be something that you consider before you are in a situation to need it.  Medicaid offers access to health services for low-income people and families in the United States.

Medicaid also helps disabled individuals and the elderly with costs such as care in nursing homes and other long-term medical bills.

However, to take benefits and qualify for the Medicaid program in Florida, certain requirements need to be fulfilled to be eligible.

These requirements include income requirements which will be discussed in this article.

A Caucasian mature woman sitting next to a younger woman as they discuss income requirements for medicaid

Income requirements for Medicaid in Florida

For many of the Medicaid eligible groups, income requirements are assessed keeping in view the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which keeps changing every year. This is measured by a particular method known as the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI).

Any income received by a Medicaid applicant is counted for the purposes of Medicaid eligibility. The income can come from any source which may include job wages or even stock dividends.

Income eligibility test for Medicaid

The income requirement for Medicaid’s eligibility for long-term care depends on whether the applicant is married (with a community spouse or any other spouse still wants Medicaid) or is single.

The Medicaid applicant can earn no more than the income cap amount prescribed, which changes from time to time in Florida.

The Florida Income Cap is $2,349.00 (January 2020) for an individual and $4,698 for a married couple.

You will be asked to provide statements from all sources of income which may include social security, distributions of retirement accounts, and even your income derived from a rental property. Gross income is not like income tax — No gross income is subtracted from social security taxes, Medicare Part B premiums, and employee portion of health insurance premiums.

The spouse’s income staying at home, known as the community spouse, is not included in the applicant’s benefit determination.

Community spouses can earn a limitless income per month but have a total asset limit of $128,640.

However, if the gross income of the community spouse is below a certain level ($2,114 / m until 06/20), it will allow the community spouse to divert some of the applicant’s income for his or her own financial needs.

This is called spousal diversion.

Asset requirements for Medicaid

To qualify a single individual over the age of 65 (or disabled), who needs home-health assistance, assisted living facilities, or Medicaid’s skilled nursing home benefits, he or she can have no more than $2,000.00 in what is considered Medicaid’s countable assets.

In countable assets, the community spouse is permitted $128,640 (2020). If both spouses are institutionalized and apply for Medicaid, then between them only $3,000 in countable assets is allowed.

Notably, joint bank and brokerage accounts are considered to be 100 percent owned by the applicant for Medicaid (not 50/50).

Joint immovable assets will not be counted if:

  •   the other owners do not seek Medicaid benefits and
  •   they refuse to sell their share of the immovable property thus making the portion of the Florida Medicaid applicant unsaleable.

Revocable living trust assets are deemed to be 100% countable against the applicant for Medicaid.

Applying for Medicaid in Florida

Medicaid planning should be a big component of any long-term elder care strategy, especially given that a person has to meet strict income and asset requirements to be eligible.

Individuals are eligible to apply for Medicaid in Florida easily who are already at or below the income and asset levels. If you don’t meet the requirements for income and assets, an experienced attorney can help advise on ways to fit the requirements.

The Finity Law Firm may be able to help protect assets and apply for Medicaid regardless of where you are in the State of Florida. Contact us today!

References

  1. Florida Medicaid | Benefits.org
  2. Medicaid Asset Test and Income Test in Florida | Elder Needs Law

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