As you begin to age, it is important to consider the ways in which you may be able to obtain assistance from the state for long-term medical care. Long-term care Medicaid provides nursing home or assisted living care, memory care, and home care for individuals at least 65 years of age that are disabled or blind, and who have resided at a qualified long-term care institution for at least 30 consecutive days.
An individual is considered disabled when they require assistance due to dementia, or require assistance with two or more “Activities of Daily Living,” which include eating, bathing, getting dressed, toileting, transferring and continence. In addition to the age and disability factors, Medicaid also considers the ability of the applicant to independently pay for the medical assistance they require.
Financial Requirements for Medicaid Applicants
In order to qualify for long-term care Medicaid, the applicant may not have income in excess of approximately $2,313.00 per month. Income can include earned wages from employment, as well as unearned income such as social security, pensions and VA benefits. The state also considers the resources of the applicant, which includes any cash, assets and real property. A single applicant can have no more than $2,000.00 in resources to qualify for Medicaid. 10 C.C.R. 2505-10 8.100.5.M.
In Colorado, some resources may be exempt, such as the applicant’s home, household property, one vehicle, and a pre-paid burial plan. If the applicant is married and only one spouse is disabled, the applicant can only have the income and resources list above, but the spouse can have additional assets up to $126,420.00.
Planning to Apply for Long-Term Care Medicaid
Strategic planning is important to ensure Medicaid eligibility, as it can be difficult to meet these strict financial requirements. Gifting or giving money to your children to spend down your income or resources in order to meet the requirements may disqualify you from assistance. When an application is submitted, Medicaid will look back up to 5 years for signs of any improper gifting. If the applicant’s assets are given away without fair value, Medicaid will assess a penalty period. During this penalty period the applicant will not be eligible for Medicaid.
Something else to keep in mind: The state of Colorado also has Estate Recovery, which means upon the death of the applicant, Medicaid can claim against the estate up to the costs paid for services after the applicant reached age 55. There are methods that can be used to spend down resources and deal with a potential penalty period and to ensure assets will not be captured by Estate Recovery.
Need Help Applying for Medicaid? Call Today!
Navigating the Medicaid qualification and application process can be difficult, but with proper planning and assistance from an experienced attorney, you may be able to receive the long-term care assistance that you need. At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., our elder law attorneys in Colorado have the skill and experience to review your application for Medicaid.
Because we understand exactly what you’ll need to qualify for Medicaid, we can help you perform a comprehensive review of your current finances and assets. From there, our qualified attorneys can also help you submit the final application and guide you throughout the Medicaid process.
Ready to seek the long-term care assistance you need? Just contact our team at (720) 491-3117 for a consultation!