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Florida rules of eligibility for long-term Medicaid

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2022 | Blog, Medicaid Planning

If you are a low-income individual in Florida, the state and federal government will fund your health care needs through Medicaid. There are a lot of factors that the government will look at when you apply for this program. Here are some rules of eligibility for long-term Medicaid.

Florida long-term Medicaid

Nursing homes or assisted living care can be expensive for most people, so the government made it possible for everyone, including individuals with low income and minimal assets, to get the help they need in old age or when sick and disabled. For that reason, the program only assists specific people that fit into very strict asset levels and income. If you have money or assets above 31% of the set federal poverty level, you cannot qualify for Medicaid planning.

Florida Medicaid transfer penalty

Given how strict the requirements for Medicaid are, some people opt to transfer their assets to their children, friends, or other relatives to get below the applicable limits before applying. However, Florida rules don’t allow you to do that. The state will look back at all your financial transactions for the past five years, and if they find that you transferred some amount that you would have used now, they will penalize you for some time.

For example, if you transferred $100,000 last year to your child, and it takes roughly $10,000/month to take care of you in a nursing home. The state will divide the amount you transferred by the monthly long-term care cost to find the period you will be ineligible for Medicaid. In this case, it would be ten months. After that penalty period expires, you can then apply again for Medicaid.

Other requirements include:

  • Florida residency
  • Need for long-term care
  • Be 65 years of age or more, or between 18 and 64 with a designation from the Social Security Administration as disabled

Medicaid is only meant for the most vulnerable people with low income. If you are slightly above the income limit and in need of long-term care, you should consider restructuring your assets to qualify for Medicaid.