Nursing home care can be very expensive. If you or a loved one ends up needing such care, it can be important to be aware of the benefits programs out there for helping with nursing home costs.
Here in Florida, one such program is the Institutional Care Program, a program under Medicaid. Now, to qualify for benefits under the ICP, you have to meet a range of qualification requirements. One of these is the asset limit.
Generally, you can’t receive ICP benefits to help with your nursing home care if the total value of your assets exceeds the limit. Typically, the limit is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. As a note, for people with a particularly low income level, the limit rises to $5,000 individuals and $6,000 for couples.
As a note, there are some assets that are not included in the total for determining if this income limit has been exceeded. Today, we’ll go over the some of the assets that are typically exempt from being included in the total.
Generally, your home is exempt if you reside there or intend to return there.
You are generally allowed to exempt one vehicle.
Whether life insurance is exempt depends on the total value of the policies one has. Generally, if the face value of all the policies totals out to $2500 or less, life insurance is exempt. As a note, the rules are different for people who receive Supplemental Security Income.
Other exempt assets
Other kinds of property typically not counted in the asset total include: irrevocable pre-paid burial contracts, a certain amount of revocable burial funds and assets covered by a qualified long-term care insurance partnership policy.
There are planning steps that can be taken to try to increase the chances of a person meeting the asset limit requirements for qualifying for benefits under the ICP. However, it can be important to exercise great care when deciding how to go about taking these steps. Errors could disqualify a person from benefits. Skilled Medicaid planning lawyers can provide guidance on avoiding such mistakes.