How Can You Protect Your Medicaid Benefits
If you expect a small to moderate settlement amount, you can decide to spend down your proceeds. How you do this will depend on your state laws. Some states require that you spend down the settlement the same month as you receive it. You will also need to purchase items that are not considered countable assets.
A more feasible solution is to work with your attorney to set up a special needs trust. When you place your money here, it becomes exempt from Medicaid eligibility requirements. Simply put, you can use your settlement amount without fear that you will trigger a Medicaid penalty.
When And Why Was The Federal Poverty Level Established
The federal poverty thresholds were first introduced in 1965, based on the work of the Social Security Administrations Mollie Orshansky. The amounts were tied to the bare minimum amount that people needed in order to have adequate food, with a multiplier used to account for other necessary expenses. Orshansky noted at the time that the poverty thresholds were a measure of the amount of income that would be inadequate for people to live, as opposed to a minimum adequate amount.
How Do I Qualify For Medicaid In Ohio
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Modified Adjusted Gross Income
Your modified adjusted gross income is your AGI with excluded foreign income, non-taxable portions of your Social Security income, and tax-exempt interest.
Essentially, this adds back certain deductions from the AGI. For most people, the AGI and MAGI will be the same.
When it comes to Medicaid eligibility, however, MAGI has two components. The first is your household income, and the second is the size of your household.
If you are on your own, in a family of two, or in a family of five, you will have different qualifying MAGI levels to become eligible for these programs. Each state will have different MAGI levels too, depending on whether or not they enacted Medicaid expansion.
Seek Help With Medicaid Application And Spend
Medicaid is a very complex government program. Just because a seniors assets exceed the general limits listed above does not mean they are automatically ineligible for coverage. Different states implement slightly different rules and resource limits, and an elder can devise a personalized asset spend-down strategy to meet their states eligibility criteria.
In addition to asset limits, there are many other guidelines for calculating countable income and determining ones medical need for care and assistance. Furthermore, different financial rules apply for married couples. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with these eligibility requirements early on in case you ever need to help an aging loved one apply for Medicaid .
Working with a certified elder law attorney who has extensive knowledge of the unique Medicaid program in your state and is well versed in legal and financial Medicaid planning strategies is crucial. In most cases, handling the application process without any professional assistance can result in a determination of ineligibility and even a costly Medicaid penalty period.
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What Is Aged And Disabled Federal Poverty Level Medi
Aged and Disabled Federal Poverty Level Medi-Cal provides free, full scope Medi-Cal services for disabled or aged individuals who meet the income and asset requirements of the program. Blind people are also eligible, but must be determined disabled.
To qualify for the Aged and Disabled Federal Poverty Level Medi-Cal, an individual’s monthly total countable income must be less than $1,481 .
Two Categories Of Medicaid Eligibility
Before the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility was based on how much money you earned and how much you owned, e.g., your income, your assets, and your net worth. After the law was enacted, however, eligibility was split into two distinct groups.
Some people continued to qualify for Medicaid the old fashioned way, while others qualify based on their modified adjusted gross income .
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To Get Disability Benefits From Ssi You Can’t Have Much Income Or Assets Though Social Security Gives You Some Breaks When Counting Your Income
SSI is a program that pays monthly cash benefits to blind or disabled children and adults who are blind, disabled, or over 65. SSI is different from SSDI , which is a program that pays benefits to disabled adults who have paid FICA taxes over the course of their working history.
To qualify for SSI, you must have limited income and few assets. Social Security requires SSI recipients to have less than $2,000 in assets, for a single person, and $3,000 for a couple .
The income limit is more complicated. The way Social Security counts income is different than the way we usually think of income. Countable income includes wages or any other kind of money you earn from working, plus money you get from other sources like unemployment, Social Security retirement, or gifts from friends, but also, free food or shelter. In addition, to encourage SSI recipients to work, Social Security excludes part of your income from its calculations.
How To Preserve Medicaid Benefits After Receiving An Inheritance
A Medicaid beneficiary must retain $2,000.00 or less by the end of any calendar month. If this happens, then benefits will be maintained for the following calendar month. I want to emphasize how important the calendar month is. Because the timing of when you are entitled to the inheritance will dictate how much pressure you will be under to remain in Medicaid compliance. For example, if an inheritance of $100,000.00 is received on January 1st, the Medicaid recipient has the rest of January to either spend the money or engage an Elder law attorney to protect the inheritance and maintain Medicaid benefits. If, on the other hand, the Medicaid beneficiary is entitled to their inheritance on January 28th, now they only have a few days to get back into compliance. If the Medicaid beneficiary retains more than $2,000 in total assets as of February 1 , they risk losing Medicaid.
As explained above, a Medicaid recipient need only spend down their recent inheritance in order to re-qualify for Medicaid. For small inheritances, that might be easy to do. For larger inheritances, spending all of it on âstuffâ would likely be too wasteful. Luckily, we have some Medicaid planning techniques available:
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What Is The Federal Poverty Level
The federal poverty level is commonly used to refer to the federal poverty guidelines that HHS issues each year.
Its specified as an income amount that is used to determine eligibility for various income-based public programs, such as Medicaid, premium tax credits, and cost-sharing reductions. The specific dollar amount varies based on the number of people in the household and whether the household is in Alaska, Hawaii, or the continental U.S.
How Do I Apply For Medi
There are different ways to apply for Medi-Cal:
- Online using BenefitsCal. BenefitsCal lets you apply for other programs like CalFresh or CalWORKs at the same time.
- Online using Covered California, an online one-stop shop where you can learn about your public and private coverage options.
- In person at your local county social services agency.
- Using a paper application and mailing it in to your local county social services agency.
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How To Protect Your Money From Medicaid
Medicaid is a federal and state program that can provide financial aid that helps with healthcare costs. Often, Medicaid can cover expenses that a Medicare plan may not. Medicaid is a widely recognized and commonly used way of paying for LTC or Long-Term care for older adults.
However, while Medicaid provides financial support, it is also a means-tested program where applicants must have a low income and limited assets if they want to qualify. The way the qualification process is setup makes it difficult for older adults to save up and distribute their savings as inheritance, as this can result in a penalty from Medicaid or maybe even prevent seniors from qualifying in the first place.
To protect your savings, it is vital to keep specific legal and financial strategies in mind. This article will go over some of these strategies and help you protect your money and assets from Medicaid.
Medicaid Eligibility & Requirements In California
Medi-Cal, Californias Medicaid program. Medi-Cal allows low-income seniors, adults and children to gain access to health care and medical services, among other programs.
You may qualify for health and medical insurance coverage at little or no cost if you meet the Medicaid eligibility requirements and guidelines below.
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Monitoring Substitution Of Coverage In Chip
States are required to include in their state plan a description of procedures used to ensure that CHIP coverage does not substitute for coverage under group health plans. States use various procedures to prevent substitution of coverage, such as monitoring survey data or private insurance databases, or applying a waiting period for individuals who are no longer enrolled in private coverage. This requirement can be found at section 2102 of the Social Security Act. Additional information on states specific CHIP waiting period policies.
What Is The Medi
The WDP program provides full scope Medi-Cal to disabled individuals who work and have income that is too high to qualify for other Medi-Cal categories. For this program, you can have up to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level in countable income and still receive Medi-Cal benefits. Enrollees pay a monthly, sliding-scale premium for this health coverage.
You may be eligible for Medi-Cal’s Working Disabled Program if you meet all the following criteria:
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What Assets Are Exempt From Medicaid Spend Down
Certain life insurance policies Life insurance policies with a cash value of lower than $1,500 are not counted. Term life insurance If you have term life insurance, then that value of that asset is exempt. Personal/household items Your household items, appliances, furniture, etc. are all exempt.
Does Medicaid Consider Life Insurance Asset
If a Medicaid applicant has term life insurance, it doesnt count as an asset and wont affect Medicaid eligibility because this form of life insurance does not have an accumulated cash value. On the other hand, whole life insurance accumulates a cash value that the owner can access, so it can be counted as an asset.
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Personal Injury Settlements And Medicaid Eligibility
A personal injury settlement is considered a countable asset. This means that receiving one can affect your eligibility for Medicaid benefits. Generally, small to medium settlement amounts have little or no effect on Medicaid. However, if the amount you receive pushes your assets over the federal poverty line, you could be disqualified from future aid.
Who Is Eligible For Medicaid In California
To receive Medi-Cal benefits in California, you must be a U.S. citizen, a state resident of California, a permanent U.S. resident, a legal alien or a U.S. national. You are eligible to receive benefits if you are:
- Over the age of 65
- Blind or disabled
- In a nursing or intermediate care home
- Under the age of 21
- A refugee living in the U.S. temporarily
As a parent or guardian relative of a child who is under the age of 21, you may be eligible for Medicaid assistance if youre taking care of the child because the parents:
- Have died
- Do not live with the child
- Are incapacitated
- Are not employed
You may also qualify for Medi-Cal benefits if you are already enrolled and receiving benefits from one or more of the following programs:
- CalFresh also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income / State Supplementary Payment
- CalWorks also known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
- Refugee Assistance
- Foster Care or Adoption Assistance Program
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Is All Of My Income Taken Into Account When Determining 250% Of The Federal Poverty Level For This Medi
No. This program uses Social Security’s countable income calculation to determine your income. Additionally, the WDP Program does not count unearned income from private or public disability benefits when determining your countable income.
Important: Medi-Calâs deeming rules apply when a worker has combined household income, for example income from a spouse.
Receiving An Inheritance And Medicaid Preservation
Medicaid recipients must constantly maintain assets below $2,000.00. If their assets ever exceed $2,000 at the end of any calendar month, they will no longer be Medicaid-eligible. So, when someone receives a lump sum inheritance from a recently-deceased family member, the lump sum of money can be most unwelcome. This article will explain what happens when a Medicaid recipient receives an inheritance and what the person about to receive an inheritance can do to preserve their Medicaid benefits.
First of all, the time to speak with an experienced medicaid lawyer is now . This allows your medicaid-planning lawyer to provide you a well thought out plan that can be put in place before the inheritance is received to ensure that all players understand what they need to do and provide for a smooth transition and no loss of benefits.
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Im An Immigrant Can I Get Medi
- Immigrants who have been legal residents for 5 years or longer or meet specific noncitizen requirements qualify for all of the same programs that citizens can get.
- Some non-citizens who have legal immigration status in the United States do not qualify for full Medi-Cal coverage. However, they may qualify for private coverage subsidized by the government.
- Undocumented children and young adults who are 25 years old or younger can get Medi-Cal coverage, if they meet all other program requirements.
- Undocumented adults who are 26 years old and older do not qualify for full Medi-Cal coverage, though they may qualify for Medi-Cal coverage for emergencies or during pregnancy.
If you are not sure whether you qualify, contact an organization in your area that works with immigrants.
Can I Work And Get Medi
Yes. Medi-Cal is designed to help you work. If you start earning money and your income goes up, there are programs and rules that will help you stay covered:
- If you have a disability and work, you can switch to Medi-Cal’s Working Disabled Program. Youâll have to begin paying for your Medi-Cal coverage, but the amount is small compared to the income youâre earning.
- If youâre on SSI-Linked Medi-Cal, and then your SSI benefit goes to zero because you go back to work, a section of the SSI regulations called the 1619 provisions allow you to keep your Medi-Cal coverage.
- If you’re on SSI-Linked Medi-Cal and your SSDI or CDB benefits increase and make you ineligible for SSI, you can keep your Medi-Cal thanks to a rule called the Pickle Amendment.
- If your income goes up so much that none of these rules help you keep your Medi-Cal and you cannot get coverage from an employer, you may qualify to get government help paying for a private health coverage plan on Covered California. See DB101’s Buying Health Coverage on Covered California article for more information.
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Can Medicaid Take Your Personal Belongings
Elder Law Guides
Most peoples furniture has little or no financial value so it is not considered in determining eligibility for Medicaid. In fact, personal belongings are explicitly excluded as assets for purposes of Medicaid asset limitations, so it can be argued that their transfer cant be penalized.
Calculating Your Countable Income And Benefit
To calculate your countable income, Social Security subtracts amounts that it does not count from your gross income. Then, Social Security subtracts your countable income from the Social Security federal benefit rate to come up with the amount of your monthly SSI benefit. For more information, see our article on how much SSI pays.
To learn more about what counts as income, see Nolo’s article on countable income for Social Security.
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Does What I Have In The Bank And/or What I Own Such As My Home Or Car Affect My Eligibility For Aged And Disabled Federal Poverty Level Medi
Yes. You are allowed to have assets up to $2,000 in value . Some of your assets, like your home and car, are not counted for this program. for a list of additional exemptions.
Assets may include:
- the value of stocks, bonds, and trust deeds
- additional cars or recreational vehicles and
- promissory notes and loans that are payable to you.