If you’re seeking Medicaid for home care or disability, you may qualify under a special “medically needy” provision in the Medicaid law that will qualify you for Medicaid only if you “spend down” your excess income over the Medicaid income cap. In other words, to receive Medicaid, you may have to hand over your income to your state’s Medicaid office.
There is another solution, completely legal and bona fide, that will let you keep your income and qualify for Medicaid home care. A Medicaid trust will hold your income in a special Medicaid-sheltered account so that you can keep your money for healthcare, utilities, and other expenses and still receive care in your own home.
An Expert Will Guide You Through Two Applications for the Trust and Medicaid
Perhaps the most important part of applying for a Medicaid trust is the team of experts that will help you figure out all of the aspects of applying for Medicaid under this complicated provision. First, the Medicaid trust expert will ask you questions to determine how much money per month you’d need to put in a pooled trust and whether this method is right for you. Next, you’ll apply for the trust, which is very similar to opening a bank account and fairly easy.
Once your trust is set up, you can start putting away the monthly amount in excess of the Medicaid income cap to lower your threshold and qualify for Medicaid benefits. The trust company helps you with your application, advises you on how to obtain supporting paperwork, suggest legal services if necessary, and then submit your application for you along with Medicaid trust paperwork.
What Happens After You Qualify for Medicaid and Medicaid Trust
After you’ve received approval for both Medicaid and the Medicaid Trust, you can start receiving home care benefits. You’ll need to deposit the amount of income over the Medicaid income cap into your trust account every month to avoid Medicaid penalties or disqualification. You can make the deposit into your account online or by mailing a check, just like a regular bank account.
To pay your expenses out of the account, you will need to do so directly. Bills can be paid through online bill pay or check directly from your account. Make sure that the Medicaid trust company that you choose has plenty of options and a streamlined process for paying bills from your account, as this can save you a major headache over the long term.
Get the Home Care You Need with a Medicaid Trust
Now that you know how a Medicaid Trust works, you might wonder if it’s right for you. You could start by researching your state’s Medicaid office and finding the income cap for your state. In New York in 2022, that cap is $934/month for a single applicant and $1,367/month for a couple. You can then contact a Medicaid trust company to calculate what amount above that threshold would need to go into an account and determine if that’s right for you. With these steps, you may be able to get the home care you need and stay in your home.