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Qualified Income Trust information you need to know. Florida’s Medicaid program has limits for an applicant’s assets: if his or her income is over the limit to qualify for Medicaid long-term care services (including nursing home care), a Qualified Income Trust is the solution. This trust allows a person to become eligible, by placing a portion of their income into a bank account each month that the individual needs Medicaid.
A Qualified Income Trust (QIT) is a written agreement that creates a special account in which a person can make deposits.
A person must have a QIT if their income before any deductions (like taxes, Medicare, or health insurance premiums) is over the income limit to qualify for the program.
Trusts are complex legal documents that require an attorney who practices in this area. Work with an experienced Medicaid trust attorney, to help you set up the QIT agreement, because this trust must meet specific requirements. It also must be approved by the Department of Children and Families Regional Legal Counsel, and a copy of the QIT agreement must be submitted to an eligibility specialist who will forward these documents for review. An experienced attorney will know the procedures and guide your paperwork through the steps.
Qualified Income Trust Requirements
A QIT has specific requirements. The agreement must satisfy all the following. It must:
- be irrevocable, meaning it can’t be canceled;
- be written so that the State receives all funds in the trust when the person dies (limited to the amount of Medicaid benefits paid);
- consist only of the applicant’s income without other assets; and
- Be signed and dated by the applicant, his or her spouse, or the individual with legal authority to act on the applicant’s behalf (Power of Attorney).
How does A Qualified Income Trust account work?
Once the account is set up, the person is required to make deposits into the QIT account every month for as long as Medicaid is needed. This can mean that a deposit is needed before a Medicaid application is approved. But as long as income is deposited into the QIT account in the month it’s received, it won’t be counted against the applicant.
Deposits can’t be made for a past or future month, and any income received back from the trust is deemed to be income. If the applicant skips a monthly deposit or fails to deposit enough income, he or she will be ineligible for Medicaid. (Income placed into a QIT is excluded as income in the eligibility determination; however, it’s counted in the calculation of the patient responsibility).
Questions about a QIT?
If you have questions about QITs, or any issue concerning Florida Medicaid, attorney John Frazier is a skilled Medicaid planning (with over 2,000 cases completed that helped preserve their family’s savings), estate planning and elder law practitioner.
If you want to learn if you or your loved one may qualify, contact accredited VA Attorney Frazier for a free telephone initial consultation at:
After 5PM: 813-431-3193
Underscoring a key milestone in VA’s efforts to modernize its infrastructure, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) marked the reopening of its newly renovated Lafayette Building at 811 Vermont Ave., in Washington, D.C., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility Dec. 11.
The Florida Institutional Care Program (ICP) helps people in nursing facilities pay for the cost of their care plus provides general medical coverage. ICP eligibility is determined by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).
In a nursing facility, patients pay for services through private insurance or self-pay. The other option is Medicare or Medicaid. Medicaid can pay for intermediate and skilled care for an unlimited period of time.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) will conduct a Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services (CARES) for an applicant. This process will determine the individual’s need of nursing facility services and the appropriate placement.
An important part of eligibility for the Institutional Care Program is financial need. Many applicants will transfer assets to family members or place them in a trust. However, sound planning is a must to accomplish this because the state has a “look-back” period for most asset transfers of five years prior to the application month.
This means that any transfer of assets within five years of applying for Medicaid in Florida may be counted as still belonging to the applicant when determining the monthly income limit of $2,200.
Here is a list of some of the eligibility requirements. An applicant must:
- be age 65 or older, or disabled as determined by Social Security criteria;
- be a U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen;
- be a Florida resident;
- have a Social Security number or apply for one;
- file for any other benefits, such as pensions, retirement, disability benefits, if applicable;
- inform DCF of any third-party health insurance;
- be determined to be in need of nursing facility services;
- be placed in a nursing home that participates in the Medicaid program; and
- have assets and income that are within the program limit.
In the case of married couples, the assets and income are evaluated when one spouse is institutionalized and one spouse continues to live at home (the “community spouse”). The community spouse may be eligible to receive some portion of the institutionalized spouse’s income.
Questions about Applying for Medicaid?
If you have questions about the Florida Medicaid application process, contact Medicaid attorney John Frazier. He’s a skilled Medicaid planning (with over 2,000 cases completed that helped preserve their family’s savings), estate planning, and elder law practitioner. Please contact John for a free telephone consultation at 727-586-3306 extension 104. If you prefer click here now to send in a contact form, and we will call you.
Exempt assets for Medicaid eligibility varies state to state. Florida implemented a new system for long-term care services through Medicaid three years ago. The program is called the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program. In this program, Medicaid-eligible seniors who require long-term care can receive assistance in their home, in the community, or in assisted living.
With regard to Medicaid, Florida is what is known as “an income cap state.” That means that to be eligible for Medicaid long-term care benefits, there’s a hard and fast income limit. Here, the state requires the amount to be no higher than its set limit at time of application.
Compare this to a “non-income cap states,” also known as “Medically Needy” states where there is no income limit for Medicaid.
The List of Exempt Assets for Medicaid Eligibility
Here’s the list of assets that are exempt from the Medicaid program asset limits in Florida, and don’t need to be liquidated:
- A Florida homestead is exempt up to $560,000 of equity, and there’s no equity ceiling if the home is occupied by the recipient’s spouse (known as the “community spouse”) or a minor child;
- One vehicle is exempt, regardless of its year, type, or value. A second vehicle over seven years old is also exempt, except for a luxury or antique vehicle;
- The applicant’s personal property is exempt, except for certain valuable items of jewelry, art, or collectibles;
- An irrevocable burial contract is exempt, regardless of amount, plus an additional $2,500 held in reserve for funeral and burial expenses;
- Life insurance with a face amount of less than $2,500 owned by recipient and spouse are exempt from Medicaid;
- IRAs, 401k plans, and other tax-deferred retirement investments can be made exempt with the correct legal advice.
- Income producing real estate is exempt if it isgenerating net income;
- $2,000 or less in cash or non-exempt assets is exempt for singles, and if the applicant is married, and both spouses require nursing level care, the limit is upped to $3,000.
Non-saleable property, household furnishings, furniture, clothing, jewelry, and other personal effects aren’t counted in the calculations.
Questions about Exempt Assets for Medicaid Eligibility?
The application for Medicaid takes some planning and consideration, especially if you have assets that may take you above the income limit. If you have questions about Florida Medicaid Attorney Frazier is a skilled Medicaid planning (with over 2,000 cases completed that helped preserve their family’s savings), estate planning and elder law practitioner. Please contact John for a free telephone consultation at 727-586-3306 extension 104. If you prefer click here now to send in a contact form, and we will call you.