Growing old happily with a husband or wife is the goal for any Florida couple. After a life of hard work, people want to live together, enjoy their golden years of retirement and relax in the warm climate and pleasant atmosphere of the Sunshine State. However, it is an unfortunate truth that as people get older, there is a chance that they will become ill or infirm and need various levels of medical treatment and personal care. Their spouse often tries to provide that care as best they can, but it can become overwhelming. As difficult as it is, a decision to place a spouse in a nursing home must be made. Finances are a frequent sticking point. Understanding how Medicaid can help in these cases is critical.
Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment provision
Placing a loved one in a nursing home is an emotionally complicated choice. For them to get the level of care they may need, there might be no other alternative. Since nursing homes cost an exorbitant sum per month, there are protections for the spouse to avoid being obligated to pay the costs and leave themselves with no money to live. It is known as spousal impoverishment. The goal is to prevent the spouse who remains at home from having to struggle with little to no money left over after paying for the nursing home care.
With spousal impoverishment, a certain amount of the couple’s resources will be shielded. This is contingent on their income and an annual calculation. There will be a personal needs allowance, a certain level of their monthly income that can be retained, a monthly allowance if other family members reside at home, and an amount for medical expenses for the spouse being cared for at a facility. This can be a life-saver financially and emotionally when a person has no options but to place a spouse in a nursing home.
For Medicaid benefits, caring legal help may be critical
When seeking a Medicaid approval, understanding spousal impoverishment and other available provisions that it provides is imperative. Spousal impoverishment is just one provision that can be beneficial. There may be others that can be used depending on the circumstances. Since people are already fearful and worried as they deal with a loved one who needs nursing home care, it is wise to have legal assistance from a compassionate, capable and board certified elder law professional who understands Medicaid planning and all it entails.