The Medicaid application process can be a difficult undertaking. Even nursing homes, who regularly file Medicaid applications, can encounter problems when applying or re-certifying a case for Medicaid. Here are a few basic tips to assist when applying for Medicaid.
Since the Medicaid application is done “on-line,” the representative (family member, nursing home staff or Medicaid Attorney) needs to have all of the information assembled before he or she can begin the application process. Obtaining a copy of the application and reviewing the questions before filing out the application is a good way to ascertain what the Department of Children & Families (DCF) wants. Once the representative knows what DCF wants, he or she should write the answers down on one or two sheets of paper. This will make it easier to answer all of the questions without having to search through the file and slow down the process.
In preparing to fill out a Medicaid application, the family member or nursing home should add up all “countable assets.” If the countable assets are over the Medicaid limit ($2,000.00 for a single person and $130,380.00 for a spouse living in the community), the family member or nursing home should not proceed, but, instead, contact an “Elder Law Attorney” immediately. Since there are strategies to help qualify an applicant for Medicaid when the applicant and/or his or her spouse have assets above the limit, an elder law attorney specializing in “Medicaid Planning,” can typically help. The family member or nursing home should look for a “Board Certified” elder law attorney in his or her area.
If the applicant’s income exceeds the monthly limit ($2,382.00 in 2021, a Qualified Income Trust is required to solve the problem under 42 U.S.C.1396(p)(d)4(B). The trust must be drafted by an attorney; and, as previously mentioned, a firm with a board certified elder law attorney should be consulted.
Another question on the Medicaid application asks if any assets have been transferred in the last five (5) years. This is known as “the 5 Year Look Back.” If the answer is “yes,” the family member or nursing home should not continue to fill out the application. Instead, he or she should consult with a firm with a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney to discuss possible solutions to the problem.
When filling out a Medicaid application, there can be many pitfalls which require expert advice. Whenever a family member or nursing home thinks he or she has such a problem, a firm with a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney should be consulted. Consulting a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney will assist in preventing the applicant from being rejected for Medicaid. Even the process itself, requiring the representative to work with DCF and the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA), can be daunting for the layman. A law firm that specializes in Medicaid Planning in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties, and files Medicaid applications every week has specific knowledge about filing an application and resolving problems that prevent an applicant from qualifying for Medicaid.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Medicaid Application process, call the Elder Law Center of Mondschein and Mondschein, P.A. at 305-274-0955 for a FREE telephone consultation.