Most people hope to avoid living in a nursing home when they get older, but it is a necessity for many. Requiring around-the-clock care because of medical conditions and even simple mobility restrictions often means that people eventually give up their independent lifestyle for the support of a nursing home facility.
Even if you have a well-funded retirement account and a carefully-planned budget, living in a nursing home could overextend you financially. It costs thousands of dollars a month, even if you share a room with someone else.
Many aging adults will need Medicaid benefits to cover the costs of living in a nursing home, which Medicare won’t cover. If you don’t plan ahead for Medicaid, you could have a substantial waiting period before you get benefits.
Transfers in the five years before you apply can cause a penalty
When Florida residents apply for Medicaid, their financial records will be subject to intense scrutiny. Any major transfers or gifts in the last five years will lead to a penalty.
The applicants will typically have to fund their own care for as many months as the state estimates they could have paid with those transferred or gifted resources. That could mean months or several years before you actually have Medicaid coverage. Early Medicaid planning can protect you from triggering a penalty or being unable to get benefits when you absolutely need to move into a nursing home for your own health and safety.
Learning about the Medicaid planning process can help you successfully navigate the complex public benefits system as you age.