Medicaid is a public assistance program jointly funded by federal and state governments that millions of Americans depend on to cover their medical expenses. For American seniors, Medicaid is even more relevant in addition to covering routine medical costs, it can also cover the costs of long-term care (something Medicare does not cover), including stays in a long term nursing facility. While Medicare is available to everyone aged 65 and older, qualifying for Medicaid requires a person to demonstrate a specific need for the program. As such, applying for Medicaid can be a complex process, and not everyone’s application will be successful. If you think you may be eligible for Medicaid, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney in your area who specializes in elder care law before you apply. Robert Slutsky has been a Medicaid lawyer serving Chester County, PA, and surrounding areas for almost 30 years; today, he would like to share with you some information about Medicaid eligibility requirements for 2022.
Income Requirements for Medicaid
There are no income limitations if you need Medicaid to pay for your nursing care in a nursing home. If you would like Medicaid to pay for long-term care services in the home, you need to have an income of less than $2,523 per month. Your spouse’s income is not considered for your Medicaid long-term care application.
Asset Requirements for Medicaid
When you apply for Medicaid, an asset test will be conducted to determine your eligibility. Certain assets will be counted toward a total, and if you exceed that total, you will not be able to qualify. Exempt assets do not count toward this total and include:
- Your primary home
- Home Furnishings
- Your Vehicle
- Pre-paid funeral expenses
- Term Life Insurance
- Life insurance policies with a cash value that does not exceed $1,000
- Personal items (clothing, wedding rings, etc.)
Countable Assets include:
- Bank accounts
- Vacation homes and properties other than your primary residence
- Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and certificates of deposit
- In some states, 401(k) and IRA accounts are countable
If the value of your countable assets exceeds the total, you may be able to spend down some of your assets to qualify, but it is important to speak to an elder law attorney about the best strategy to do so before you begin. If you do not you are wasting a valuable opportunity to preserve resources that you could otherwise benefit from.
Care Requirements for Medicaid
The level of care you need is also a determining factor for Medicaid eligibility. These requirements are complex, so each person’s situation can be very different. For example, if you are over 65, blind, or disabled, you may be able to qualify even if you need modest assistance with your activities of daily living (ADLs). If you do not meet those conditions but you need significant help with your ADLs, it will be easier for you to qualify. And if you suffer from cognitive impairment and need supervision, you may qualify as well. Determining your need for care is complex, so speaking with an elder care attorney will help you figure out if your need for care is great enough to qualify you for Medicaid.
Need Help with Your Medicaid Application in Montgomery County, PA?
If you need Medicaid to cover your medical expenses (including long-term care), you may not be able to afford to wait. When you speak with an elder care lawyer about your situation, you will greatly improve your chances of having a successful application on the first try. Robert Slutsky has offices in Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA and he is one of the most experienced elder law lawyers in the area. Call (610) 940-0650 or fill out the online form on our contact page today to schedule your initial consultation.