As your parents age, long-term care may become a necessity. While programs such as Medicare offer short-term care for patients, Medicaid is a government program that offers long-term care. Since Florida is an income cap state, patients who want Medicare benefits must abide by a hard income limit.

According to Senior Planning, as per Medicaid’s standards, they divide assets into two different categories: available and exempt. The exempt assets do not lend themselves towards a denial of benefits. Those assets that are not exempt, however, are liquidated to help pay for nursing home care prior to receiving benefits.

In the state of Florida, there is a five-year look back period. If your parent sells his or her assets below market value or transfers assets in those five years, he or she may suffer penalties. If married, the other spouse can retain half of all countable assets at a maximum value of 123,600 dollars. Those who have an income of 300% of the Federal Benefit Level or approximately 2,250 dollars are eligible for Medicaid. Those who have an excess of that much may place the income into a Qualifying Income Trust.

The maximum assets that a qualified Medicaid recipient may retain are as follows:

  • One automobile
  • Irrevocable burial trust
  • Non-saleable property
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Household furnishings

Other personal effects may be exempt when it comes to Florida applicants. In Florida, there is also a program between the state and private insurers. These policies protect assets by matching what the policyholder pays into the policies.

This information provides you with an idea of what happens to your parents assets under Medicaid. It is not legal advice.