If your parents reside in Florida, you could help them review the many assistance options available. As noted on the Mid Florida Community Services website, in addition to health care, seniors may also obtain transportation assistance and enroll in home energy programs. The maximum income requirements for health care assistance may, however, get complicated. Your parents could find it to their benefit to begin looking into their eligibility early.
What do my parents need to know about Medicaid eligibility?
As explained by Forbes, Medicaid health care coverage includes hospitalization, screening and diagnostics, doctor visits and in-home care. The program covers low-income households and retired seniors with limited or fixed-income budgets. To qualify, applicants must meet the maximum monthly income limits. They must also meet current asset limit requirements.
As described by U.S. News, applicants may meet income limit requirements by spending the amount over the limit on their health-related expenses. Referred to as an “income spend down,” the monthly expenditures could include current and past medical bills, eyeglasses, hearing aids or health-related home improvements. Meeting the asset requirements could become more complex. Applicants may not need to sell their car or home to qualify, but savings or investment account funds may need to go toward medical expenses.
What issues might arise from long-term care?
As U.S. News also notes, Medicaid covers long-term facility care, but state governments may attempt to recover the costs from recipients’ estates. If you inherit your parents’ home, for example, the state may place a lien on it to recover long-term care costs. Planning ahead could help avoid inheritance lien issues, but you may need to consider the five-year lookback period.
Transferring assets out of an estate within five years before a Medicaid application could cause troubling issues. Effective estate planning could, however, avoid problems and provide peace of mind.