Medicaid is a free or low-cost type of medical coverage that many older adults benefit from in America. While you may have a good financial situation now and not believe that you’ll need Medicaid in the future, there is actually a good reason to make sure you can qualify for it: Long-term care is expensive.
Medicaid is available to low-income individuals of any age, but Medicaid eligibility for older adults (65 and older) should be a part of your estate planning discussions. Long-term care planning may include the use of Medicaid to cover nursing home care, assisted living and other medical needs.
Florida hosts several Medicaid programs
Medicaid programs vary in every state. In Florida, there are three Medicaid programs. These include:
- Nursing home and institutional Medicaid
- Home and community-based services Medicaid
- Regular Medicaid, Medicaid for the Aged Blind and Disabled
Each of these has its own eligibility requirements, which makes it important for individuals to understand what they need to do to qualify for the specific services they’re interested in.
Institutional Medicaid, for example, provides benefits only to those in nursing homes when they qualify based on their income. Home and community-based services are limited to a certain number of individuals each year, and those people must meet the eligibility requirements. Unlike nursing home Medicaid programs, this Medicaid program provides coverage for adult day care, adult foster care and home care.
Regular Medicaid is most often used and is available to all people who qualify. Benefits through regular Medicaid are provided at adult day care or home.
The difference between these programs matters, because the eligibility requirements vary. For example, regular Medicaid limits a single person to an income of $948 monthly, but the other two forms have a limit of $2,382.
Medicaid planning is complex, but you can take steps to understand it better
There’s no question that Medicaid planning can be complicated, but you still need to consider it when you work through your long-term care planning goals. If you can structure your estate correctly to qualify for Medicaid, you may save yourself thousands of dollars on medical care and long-term care support without negatively impacting your estate and assets.