Page 17 - Senior Scene April 2018
P. 17

MEDICAID ELIGIBILTY
Senior Scene® | April Issue
own life if she entered a long-term care facility. Needless to say, she did the opposite. She strived to get better and dreamed of eventually coming home. She had insurance and it paid 100% of her needs. You see, hearts change when reality strikes.
Per Florida Medicaid, if your individual income is less than $2250/month and your countable assets are less than $2,000, you will be eligible to receive facility care or home-based care. In my experience, the income test is often easy to pass, but the asset test is where seniors run into trouble and  nancial advisors struggle to solve. Income generally includes all forms of income: wages, alimony, pensions, Social Security, interest and stock dividends. Make note, when only one spouse of a married couple is applying for Medicaid, the income of the applicant’s spouse is not counted.
Florida does exempt certain assets. Countable assets include stocks, bonds, investments, and savings and checking accounts. However, there are many assets that are considered exempt. These include IRA’s and 401K’s
in payout status, personal belongings, household items, a vehicle, and one’s primary home, given the home is valued under $840,000.
What if you fail both the income test and the asset test? Well, there are other ways to qualify for Medicaid. A popular way is the “Medically Needy Pathway”. In short, one may still be eligible if they have high medical bills, which includes health insurance premiums. Sometimes referred to as a “Share of Cost” Program, this
MEDICAID Continued on page 24
OF LONG-TERM CARE
By Jason ValaVanis, CFP®, ChFC (321) 956-7072
One of the most disheartening events in the aging process is failing the simple activities of daily living. These include: bathing, dressing, eating, transferring (getting out and into beds and chairs), toileting, and continence. Another item of concern is failure of cognizance due to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Often more than not, failure in one category leads to failure in several or all categories. In this article, I’ll brie y discuss the way a senior in need can successfully obtain State  nancial assistance to pay this tremendous cost.
According to Genworth, a leading long-term care insurance provider, the median cost in Florida for a private room in a facility is $8,900/month, while a shared room is about $7,800. How many seniors have this kind of income? The burden lies on their savings, family members, or the State to fund this event. Recently, my father passed away and he used long-term care services that cost in excess of $14,000 per month. Every case is different, so you have no way of predicting your actual burden. In many ways this scares the willies out of retirees and for a good reason.
With nearly 40% of all seniors needing long-term care in some fashion before death, you should be concerned. You have a choice; spend your life savings for long-term care or plan ahead using current income and State help. Years ago, my mother warned me she would take her
Are you a SENIOR who needs assistance in finding services for:
Health, Household, Financial, Legal or other Needs?
Call: (321) 473-7770
Visit: www.HelpingSeniorsofBrevard.org
As a non-profit organiza on, our objec ve is to improve awareness of exis ng senior care programs and help SENIORS access them.
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