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©Copyright 2009 Medicaid Information Resource, 3440
East Lake Rd, Suite 108,
Palm Harbor, FL 34685
MIR offers financial planning services designed to help elderly clients preserve their assets in safe investments so they may qualify for government financial assistance programs. MIR charges fees to assist elderly clients in submitting Medicaid applications, and we may receive commissions for annuities structured in the planning process. In 11 years filing Medicaid applications, we have never had an application denied.
We are not attorneys and do not offer legal advice or draft any legal documents. The decision to hire MIR is in no way equivalent to or a substitution for an attorney.
in Florida - The Income Requirement
In determining Medicaid eligibility in Florida, Medicaid first considers the applicant’s gross monthly income. It is important to note that only the applicant’s income is counted. If the applicant is married, Medicaid does not count the income of the well spouse still living in the community.
When Medicaid considers the applicant’s income, it counts gross income, not just the net amount that the person actually receives from Social Security and/or pension income. Usually taxes and Medicare and/or other health insurance premiums are automatically deducted from these monthly income sources. Therefore, one has to be sure to calculate the total gross income before any deductions are taken and remember that all income is considered, including interest and dividends from any investments.
Each state implements Medicaid differently. Florida is an "Income Cap" state. This means if the applicant's gross income exceeds $2,094 per month, in all likelihood they will fail Medicaid’s income requirement and typically they would not qualify for Medicaid. However, since 1993, Medicaid has developed a way to qualify even if the gross income exceeds the income cap.
Medicaid in Florida - Income Trust
In the situation when an applicant’s gross income exceeds Florida’s Income Cap, it may be advantageous for the applicant to consult with a Florida attorney regarding establishing a special Medicaid Income Trust. In many states this trust is generally referred to as a “Miller Trust”. In Florida, this trust is more commonly referred to as an “Irrevocable Income Trust.” When the attorney determines an Irrevocable Income Trust is needed, they will usually do the following:
• draft the trust document • provide instructions for execution the trust • instruct you to open a new checking account in the name of the trust (i.e. “John Doe Irrevocable Income Trust”) • provide instructions for funding the Trust each month with the applicant’s income
Some attorneys recommend placing all of the applicant’s monthly income into this Income Trust Account. The Income Trust Account must be set up prior to applying for Medicaid. The account must be funded with the applicant’s income each and every month that Medicaid benefits are being requested for the applicant to pass the Income Requirement and be eligible for Medicaid nursing home benefits.