Florida Medicaid Eligibility

Is Spend Down Necessary for Florida Medicaid Eligibility?

Florida Medicaid Eligibility

I often receive calls from families who tell me that they believe they have to spend down a nursing home resident’s funds until the resident meets the eligibility criteria for Medicaid.  These families have done internet research and learned what the eligibility criteria is and assume that until their assets are completely depleted that they will not receive the Medicaid benefit.

However, knowing which assets count and how to restructure them so that eligibility is possible sooner is critical to preserve assets and ensure the best quality of care.

The Florida Medicaid eligibility criteria for married people are very different than the criteria for single people.

When working with married people, we always try to ensure that the Medicaid eligibility is structured to protect the well spouse from impoverishment. We sometimes are able to convert assets to an income stream for the well spouse.  Other times, we are able to get a court order to divert some of the applicant spouse’s income to the well spouse.  Both of these tactics help to ensure that the well spouse is not impoverished.

I also hear from families that they have to spend down because of the five year look-back period.

However, when it comes to Florida Medicaid eligibility, the five year look back period applies to transfers of assets without adequate compensation.  If we are working with a family who has come to us early in the aging process, we may transfer assets to trust and wait out the ineligibility period.  However, if an applicant needs immediate eligibility, we are able to use different tools to obtain eligibility.  These tools include personal services contracts, pooled trusts and income producing property.  The rules for using the tools are complex.

Florida Medicaid Eligibility

Give us a call so that we can help you preserve assets and obtain Florida Medicaid eligibility.

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