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Who may need a Medicaid spend-down and how could it help seniors?

Florida residents planning to apply for Medicaid may consider an income or asset spend-down to qualify. As reported by U.S. News, the Medicaid program helps low-income seniors with medical expenses including long-term care.

You may determine your eligibility to receive assistance by reviewing your financial resources. Assessing the current value of your assets could also reveal if you qualify.

Eligibility for single and married Florida residents in 2022

The American Council on Aging notes that eligible Floridians could receive nursing facility or home-based health care assistance. To qualify, single or unmarried residents need to show a monthly income of less than $2,523. Each applicant’s assets may not exceed $2,000.

Married spouses may both qualify for Medicaid with a combined monthly income of less than $5,046. A couple’s combined assets must also fall below $3,000. If only one spouse applies for Medicaid, the applicant’s monthly income may not exceed $2,523 and assets cannot exceed $2,000. The spouse who does not apply, however, may own assets worth no more than $137,400.

How a spend-down may improve chances of eligibility

If your income or assets exceed the program’s acceptable limits, a lawful Medicaid spend-down may help you qualify. Florida’s “Share of Cost” Program allows individuals to become eligible for Medicaid by spending the bulk of their income on health-related bills such as insurance premiums.

You may also sell your assets and use the proceeds for home improvements that could help you to receive medical care at your home. Installing a wheelchair ramp, for example, may fall within the program’s acceptable spend-down guidelines.

Medicaid may require planning for your family’s future needs before submitting an application. If your income or assets may prevent you from receiving assistance, participating in spend-down programs may help.