At Cuturic Law, our mission is to help guide our clients who are dealing with dementia through the maze of the aging network (community or government agencies, healthcare providers, and other organizations who meet the needs of elderly populations). In keeping with our legal team’s focus, we aim to become the go-to law firm in Florida related to legal and financial planning for dementia. Our mission is to help clients and their families get answers to their questions and find the help they need.
At Cuturic Law, we can help you:
The first step towards security and ease about your future care is to schedule a consultation with us today.
The heart of elder law is the people served in this vital area – seniors and their loved ones. Health care costs are rising at a rate faster than most people’s finances can afford. People are living longer because of advances in medicine and healthcare. It’s crucial to plan to protect your life savings for when, not if, a long-term care event strikes. Your planning may make all the difference in the world when it comes to your ability to leave a legacy.
An elder law attorney can help you, or a loved one, finance care with the lowest impact on your assets—for example, protecting your home. A Florida elder law attorney can help create a legal plan to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are met in your golden years of life.
Medicaid planning can be complex. Cuturic Law, PLLC is a Florida elder law firm and our elder law attorneys can help you prepare for the future possibility of long-term care in Florida. Medicaid can be a huge benefit towards protecting your assets, especially if you require nursing home care or in-home care. An experienced attorney can assist with Florida Medicaid qualifications while protecting your assets.
Without Florida Medicaid coverage, you will be personally responsible for expending the monthly cost of your eldercare.
In a typical case, the total cost of decent long-term care usually comes in at around $390,000.00 (approximately 2 to 3 years of care, at approximately $12,000 to $15,000 per month). Below are “median cost” numbers for Florida:
FLORIDA ANNUAL MEDIAN COST OF CARE (2020)
IN-HOME CARE – Homemaker Services $50,336 – Home Health Aide $51,480
COMMUNITY/ASSISTED LIVING – Adult Day Health Care $16,900 – Assisted Living Facility $44,400
NURSING HOME FACILITY – Semi-Private Room $104,025 – Private Room $117,804
The cost of Florida long-term care can quickly wipe out your family’s savings. This is true for families of all income levels. Whether you have a lot to protect or a little, Cuturic Law, PLLC is on your side. We can help you navigate the complexities of Medicaid and create a plan that works best for your health care needs, and best protects your life savings and home.
The sooner you or a loved one starts planning for long-term care, the better. For example, you will likely get a much better deal on purchasing long-term care insurance well in advance. Additionally, there are more strategies available to you the sooner you start this planning.
However, if you are currently paying for long-term care, you can still plan to take advantage of Medicaid benefits. An experienced Florida Elder law attorney can give you the tool you or a loved one need to protect your savings and income while still allowing you to meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid.
Cuturic Law, PLLC, is here to help you and your family understand estate planning, probate, Medicaid planning, and elder law. Our Venice, Florida law firm welcomes you to contact us and learn how to help meet your Florida Medicaid planning needs.
Advanced planning is a must. As as soon as you can – ideally at least five years before serious health problems arise – take advantage of many elder attorneys’ willingness to talk with you for free, or for a modest initial-consultation charge.
We are here to help you navigate the complexities of the Medicaid program. This is a governmental fund available to meet the staggering expense of institutional care, but the ins and outs of the qualification rules are complicated and mistakes can be costly. Here’s a thumbnail to help you grasp what your attorney will be telling you.
“Resources” and “Income”: The Difference
Medicaid assistance is available only to those who own very little. The Medicaid rules determine what “owning very little” actually means. A person can only own around $2,000.00 of what Medicaid calls “resources.”
Resources include cash in the bank, CDs, the cash value of insurance policies, investments, and the like. Income includes regular paychecks, Social Security, or payments received for child support. Both income and resources are potentially “counted” by Medicaid as “available.” To qualify for assistance, available income and resources must be carefully spent or transferred away.
Some resources are not counted or, in other words, are exempt. This means the Medicaid rules exclude them from adding up to the $2,000.00 limit. These resources are sheltered from Medicaid’s requirement that the applicant must spend down almost everything before assistance will be available.
A married couple’s residence, one motor vehicle, household goods and furnishings, medical equipment, jewelry, and other items are exempt. This means that an ill spouse can still qualify for Medicaid assistance even if the couple owns those resources. There’s no need to give them away or sell them to qualify.
The distinction between “exempt” and “non-exempt” assets can be tricky, though, and should first be assessed by a qualified elder-law attorney before any action is taken.
What the Well Spouse Can Keep
The Medicaid rules permit a spouse who remains at home to keep a portion of the couple’s resources. This is known as the “community spouse resource allowance” (CSRA). Of course you’d like to see the well spouse keep as much as possible within the CSRA limits. Planning can arrange the distribution of resources to make that happen.
Here is where the difference matters between “resources” and “income.” Medicaid distinguishes between the well spouse’s income and the couple’s resources. Resources over the CSRA limit must be spent down or carefully transferred. As to income, the well spouse can keep it up to a certain level, so he or she will have enough money to live on. The Medicaid rules call this the “monthly maintenance needs allowance” (MMNA).
For example, if the well spouse gets Social Security benefits of only $500.00 a month, but her allowed MMNA is as high as $2,000.00, it makes sense to convert some of the couple’s resources into raising her income up to the MMNA limit. This is not a simple matter, though, and should be done only on the advice of a qualified elder-law attorney.
Planning for Medicaid eligibility can be complicated. Please consult an elder-law attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you plan, the more strategies are available to protect your resources. An initial consultation with a qualified elder-law attorney, for free or for a modest amount, could save you many thousands of dollars.
We hope you found this helpful. If you have questions or would like to discuss a personal legal matter, don’t hesitate to reach out. Please contact our office at 1 (941) 441-9193.