There may come a time when you or a loved one need help paying for long-term care. Medicaid may be the answer, but there are hurdles to jump to receive benefits. The application process can be frustrating and confusing. Applicants have to meet certain financial criteria, including income and the value of their available resources. In fact, one point that often confuses people is what Medicaid means when it refers to “resources.
The Application Process
To qualify for Medicaid, applicants must:
- Meet all income, age or other requirements; and
- Accurately complete all required forms.
Applications can be submitted online or in person to the correct Alabama Medicaid office.
That sounds fairly simple, right?
One problem is that the forms require great attention to detail and supporting documents that prove the applicant meets all requirements. Supporting documents include proof of income, financial statements, Medicare and Social Security cards, pre-arranged burial contracts, power of attorney or guardianship papers, and verification of the applicant’s resources.
“Resources” Means …
Medicaid considers the following to be resources:
- Mortgages owned (not owed)
- Cash surrender value of life insurance when face value exceeds $5,000
- Stocks and bonds
- Mutual funds
- Promissory notes
- Real estate
- Checking and savings accounts
- CD’s and Annuities
- Some mineral and timber rights, etc.
We might think of the following as resources, but Medicaid does not count them toward the $2,000 monthly resource limit:
- Household goods and personal effects.
- Life insurance (or any insurance with a cash surrender value), if the total combined face value is $5,000 or less.
- Burial fund or prepaid burial contract that are irrevocable. The District Office will have to have copies of the fund or contract.)
- Burial space items (casket, vault, crypt, burial plot, marker, opening and closing of grave).
- One automobile per household, if used by the household member.
Some property listed above may not be counted toward the resource limit, but only if:
- The patient/applicant intends to return home from the medical institution,
- Efforts are being made to sell the property,
- A spouse or other dependent relative, or joint owner, still lives at the property,
- Property valued at less than $6,000 is income producing,
- The applicant’s property interest is in the form of a life estate.
Where Do I Fit In?
For nursing home, hospital, and ICF-IID Medicaid, the resource limit is $2,000 as of the first day of each month. Exceptions and special rules may apply. The applicant must have resources valued at $2,000 or less to continue receiving Medicaid benefits.
We Can Help with Medicaid Eligibility Concerns.
The attorneys at Adams & Miller, P.C. know how to help you with Medicaid eligibility. For a free consultation, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. Although we’re located in Anniston, we also help clients in the Birmingham, Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.