The Top Nine Myths People Think About Florida Medicaid Qualification

For 15 years we have successfully helped families preserve their assets and qualify for Florida Nursing Home Medicaid and Assisted Living public benefits

  1. You have to give all your assets away or wait until you are impoverished in order to qualify for Florida Medicaid.

There are many strategies that can be used to legally restructure your assets so you don’t have to “spend down” your life savings and you can still qualify for Medicaid. An experienced Medicaid Planning attorney can help you choose the right strategies for your family’s situation.

  1. Once you are in a nursing home it istoo late to start Florida Medicaid Planning.

It is never too late or too early to begin Florida Medicaid Planning. In those cases where planning was not done and the person is already in a nursing home, assets can still be protected. There are strategies that we can use to help you qualify for Medicaid in a short timeframe.

  1. If you put all your money in your spouse’s name, then you will be eligible for Florida Medicaid.

Assets of both the spouse and the applicant are counted in determining financial eligibility. However, there are strategies that can be used for married couples to allow the applicant to qualify almost immediately!

  1. If you give your assets away, you won’t be eligible for Florida Medicaid for three years.

Although Medicaid may look back at gifts made within five (5) years, not all gifts will create a disqualifying/penalty period. Furthermore, we can create a plan which advises you of the specific way and timing needed to make gifts so that you do not incur any disqualification/penalty period.

  1. If your assets are owned by a living trust, they are protected from nursing homes.

Assets owned by a living trust are still vulnerable to nursing homes costs and are counted when determining financial eligibility. However, there are other types of trusts can be used to protect assets.

  1. You can hide your assets to become eligible for Florida Medicaid benefits.

Intentional misrepresentation of assets is a crime. Furthermore, there are several planning strategies that are available to legally restructure your assets and shelter them from long-term care costs. Therefore, with proper planning hiding assets is not necessary.

  1. Once you enter a nursing home as private pay, you have to wait until a Medicaid bed is available before you can qualify for Florida Medicaid.

This is incorrect, however you may be told this because private pay patients pay nursing homes more than the state does for medicaid patients. Also, when someone enters a nursing home they cannot be discharged because they change from private pay to Medicaid. However, if you plan to start as a private pay patient, be sure to ask if the facility accepts Medicaid.

  1. The rules that applied to your friend will also apply to you.

Florida Medicaid rules are complicated and everchanging. Each situation is unique and has different facts. Therefore, you should not take any action before you have met with an experienced Medicaid Planning attorney in your state.

  1. You don’t need an attorney to help with Florida Medicaid Planning if a social worker at the nursing home is assisting you.

Social workers are a great resource to assist people in simple situations where an individual does not have assets that they are trying to preserve. However, if you need to shelter assets to care for the spouse that is living in the community or to pass to other family members then it is best to consult with an experienced Medicaid Planning attorney. Our focus is to use strategies that are best suited for each family’s unique needs. Wrong or incomplete answers can cost you thousands of dollars each month, however, proper planning can save you around $60,000 or more each year.

Please refer to the section Florida Nursing Home Medicaid and Florida Medicaid Planning and Eligibility for more information about how our firm can help you qualify for government programs to pay for nursing homes and long-term care.

Barbara Buxton, Esquire has a Master of Laws in Estate Planning degree (LL.M.) and has been a Florida Elder Law Attorney and Florida Medicaid and Asset Preservation Lawyer for over 15 years. She focuses on Florida elder law, nursing home Medicaid benefits, Florida Medicaid planning & eligibility, asset preservation, estate planning, trusts & estates, wills, Florida probate and litigation related to these areas. We welcome you to contact our office if you would like to schedule an appointment to have your situation evaluated.

Please call our office at 305-932-2293 in the Miami area or 954-760-7077 in the Broward County-Fort Lauderdale area to discuss how our law firm can help you and your loved one pay for the cost of a nursing home, assisted living or home care. If you live in another area of Florida or Out-of-state, please email our office. Telephone appointments and Home and Hospital appointments are available.