Eligibility criteria for Florida Medicaid benefits for long-term nursing home care have gotten much stricter. The look back period has increased from three years to five years for all gifts made after January 1, 2010. What does the look back mean? Basically, it means that if you enter a nursing home for custodial care, and then apply for Medicaid benefits, any gifts that you have made will be totaled by Medicaid and a formula will be applied to determine a penalty period. During that penalty period you will not be eligible for Medicaid benefits and will have to pay nursing home costs out-of-pocket.
What Is the Cost of Long-Term Nursing Care?
The cost of long-term nursing care are astronomical and will easily wipe out all but the wealthiest families in no time. A survey by Genworth Financial reveals that in 2010, the median annual cost for a private room in a Florida long-term care nursing home is $82,125; and for a semi-private room, $74,825. And you can expect these costs will only rise in the future. Many people incorrectly believe that Medicare will pay for nursing home costs. Medicare will pay for a limited period of time in a skilled nursing facility, but not for custodial, i.e., long-term nursing care.
Seniors Want to Help Their Families More Than Ever
Given today's tough economic times, many seniors are assisting their children and grandchildren financially. But the gifts you have given your kids - and no doubt want to continue to give them if you can -- will be counted against you if and when you apply for Medicaid benefits to defray the cost of long-term care. Fortunately, there is a perfectly legal solution that can allow you to be generous without jeopardizing your future eligibility for Medicaid, thus preserving assets. We call that solution the Medicaid Gifting Trusta,,?
Explanation of the Medicaid Gifting Trusta,,?
Fortunately, there is a perfectly legal solution that can allow you to be generous -without jeopardizing your future eligibility for Medicaid. We call that solution the Medicaid Gifting Trusta,,? . You use the monies in the trust to make gifts to your loved ones. The beauty is, once the trust is established and properly funded, the five year lookback begins to run. Here's a concrete example of how it works: Let's say in June 2010 you create a Medicaid Gifting Trust and fund it with $100,000. In December 2010 you give your son $25,000 for a roof repair. In 2012 you give your granddaughter money to help with her college tuition. You continue to use the monies in the trust for these gifts. Then, in July 2015, you need custodial nursing home care. When you apply for Medicaid benefits, none of the gifts you've made, nor any funds still remaining in the trust, are considered by Medicaid, since five years have passed since the trust was established.
Consult with a Florida Bar Certified Elder Law Attorney
This legal strategy is complicated and may not apply to everyone's circumstances and needs. Moreover, keep in mind that Florida Medicaid rules and regulations are constantly changing. If you want to determine if the Medicaid Gifting Trusta,,? is beneficial for your particular situation, consult with a Florida Bar Certified Elder Law Attorney, who can give you up-to-date information and legal guidance.
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