It is important to gain an understanding of the Medicaid program when you are planning ahead with the eventualities of aging. This is because Medicaid will pay for long-term care, but Medicare will not.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services 40% of people who reach the age of 65 are going to someday reside in a nursing home.
Of course the likelihood will rise as you get older.
These facilities are extremely expensive, and most people would find it very difficult to pay out-of-pocket. As a result, many individuals angle toward obtaining Medicaid eligibility as a way to pay for long-term care. In fact, the Medicaid program is paying for the nursing home care of most people who are residing in these facilities.
Though Medicaid is intended for people who have limited financial means you can retain some of your personal property and still qualify for eligibility. The limits have been adjusted for 2013 and we will share a few of them here.
The value of your home will not count toward Medicaid eligibility up to an equity limit of a minimum of $536,000 with each state having the ability to raise this to as much is $802,000. If you were to enter a facility and your spouse was to remain in the home there would be no equity limit.
The healthy spouse who is not institutionalized may keep half of community assets up to a limit that is set at $115,920 in 2013.
There is also a provision that allows the healthy or community spouse to retain some of the institutionalized spouse’s income to maintain a minimum standard of living. This is called a “monthly maintenance needs allowance,” and in 2013 the maximum is $2898.
The Augulis Law Firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.