- John Todd
I was told I have too much income . . .
Do you remember when you were a kid and a quarter was a treasure?
When I moved up to my first paper route at about age 10, I thought I was doing great.
Regular work, regular income that I could spend on extras. And spend I did – buying ice cream and peanut butter and honey and stopping for a cold bottle of Fanta at the Nursing Home on my route.
(I had to drink it there and leave the bottle, but it was only 10 cents!) Oh, and I was able to save up enough to buy my own 10-speed bike – brand new!
Later, it was, “When we can make $100K we’ll have it made . . .”
But I know people who make well more than $100k, and it still doesn’t seem to be enough.
One of the common urban myths about Elder-Care Medicaid is repeated almost everywhere:
I’ve heard it from Nursing Homeworkers.
Sometimes the doctor might say that.
When you go to public social services like Community Action, you might hear this.
I’m sure there are Government workers at Health and Welfare, even Medicaid workers that repeat this myth.
The TRUTH is that Long-Term Care Medicaid – the kind that is used to pay for Nursing Home care, Assisted Living, Memory Care, or In-Home care – that kind of Medicaid follows a different set of rules.
Think with me just a little.
Let’s say that your dad has $1790 of Social Security income. He also has a pension that pays $845/m. And an IRA that requires him to take $230/m.
That would mean his MONTHLY INCOME is . . . (Let’s see, $1,790 + $845 + $230 equals . . .) $2,865 PER MONTH!
But because of his declining health and increase care needs, he needs to be in an Assisted Living to be safe.
The cost of Assisted Living I $3,900/ month (Or more!).
Now if he has an income of $2,865, and his basic care is going to cost $3,900, obviously, he DOESN’T have ENOUGH INCOME.
So why does the Medicaid office tell me that he is OVER-INCOME?
This is really a technicality, that is usually not mentioned. But if someone is going to need Elder Care Medicaid (also called “Long-Term Care” Medicaid) and they are told they are “Over-Income” . . .
. . .It Really Means There is Another Step to Complete Before You Can Qualify For Medicaid!!!
Here’s the goofy thing – 25 states don’t set an income limit for Long-Term Care Medicaid.
The OTHER 25 states have an income limit. BUT ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A WAY TO QUALIFY FOR LONG-TERM CARE MEDICAID IF THE PERSON IS OVER-INCOME.
The “tool” used by these 25 states is called “an Income Qualifying Trust” or “a Miller Trust”.
I’m not going to go into the details of how this works right now, and there are some variations from state-to-state,
but the BIG NEWS is – YOU ARE NOT OVER-INCOME – You Just Need To Complete Another Step in the process!
Have you ever been told you are Over-Income for Medicaid? How did that affect your planning for care?
I’d love to hear your story or questions.