Qualifying for Medicaid can be complicated

Qualifying for Medicaid can be complicated

"Qualifying for Medicaid can be complicated."

Qualifying for Medicaid can be complicated. Take this cautionary story for example. An 84-year-old retired police officer recently took a fall in his home and injured his spinal cord. He retired from the police force more than 20 years ago and received a lump sum. Currently, he gets more than $2,000 per month from his pension and Social Security.

How does this retired police officer spend down to qualify for Medicaid, since he is now a paraplegic?

State programs provide health care services in the community and in long-term care facilities. The most common, Medicaid, provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible elderly adults and people with disabilities.

Medicaid is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.

Nj.com’s recent article entitled “How can this retired police officer qualify for Medicaid?” advises that long-term services and supports are available to those who are determined to be clinically and financially eligible. A person is clinically eligible, if he or she needs assistance with three or more activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, eating, personal hygiene and walking.

Financial eligibility means that the Medicaid applicant has fewer than $2,000 in countable assets and a gross monthly income of less than $2,382 per month in 2021. The applicant’s principal place of residence and a vehicle generally do not count as assets in the calculation. If an applicant’s gross monthly income exceeds $2,382 per month, he or she can create and fund a Qualified Income Trust with the excess income that is over the limit.

The options for spending down assets to qualify for Medicaid can be complicated and are based to a larger extent on the applicant’s current and future living needs and the amount that has to be spent down.

Consult with an elder law attorney or Medicaid planning lawyer to determine the best way to spend down, in light of an applicant’s specific situation.

If you would like to learn more about Medicaid planning, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: nj.com (July 19, 2021) “How can this retired police officer qualify for Medicaid?”

Photo by Centre for Ageing Better from Pexels

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