Before we explain the Medicaid Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance, we should look at the value of Medicaid planning for people who were never financially needy.
Long-Term Care Costs
If you have worked throughout your life prior to retirement, you are going to qualify for Medicare coverage. In fact, the eligibility requirements are quite modest.
You earn retirement credits when you are working and paying taxes. Each year you can earn as many as four retirement credits. Once you have accumulated 40 credits, you will qualify for Medicare when you reach the age of eligibility. At the present time, the eligibility age is 65.
In 2014 you earn one retirement credit for each $1,200 that you earn within the year, so the demands are minimal.
Medicare will assist with your health care expenses when you obtain coverage. However, the program will not pay for custodial care. This is the type of care that you would receive in a nursing home or assisted living community. It should be noted that some people can get adequate assistance while remaining at home.
Long-term care is very expensive, and it is difficult to impossible for many people to pay out-of-pocket.
Medicaid will pay for long-term care. However, to qualify you must be able to demonstrate significant financial need. There are asset and income limits that you must stay within if you want to become eligible for Medicaid.
People typically engage in a Medicaid spend down to obtain eligibility. This is a measured divestiture of assets.
Medicaid Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance
If you need long-term care and your spouse is still capable of independent living, your spouse would be referred to as the community spouse.
The community spouse can retain a certain store of assets without impacting the Medicaid eligibility of the institutionalized spouse. One of these benefits is the Medicaid Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance
Under program rules, much of the income that is due to the institutionalized spouse must be contributed toward the cost of care. However, this requirement can be waived if the community spouse is relying on the income to maintain a basic standard of living. The healthy spouse may continue to draw a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance from income that is due to the institutionalized spouse.
Our firm practices law in the state of Indiana. In our state, the minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance that a spouse may receive in 2014 is $1,939. The maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance in Indiana is $2,931 for the rest of this calendar year.
Medicaid Planning Special Report
In this post we have answered a single question about the Medicaid program. If you are concerned about future long-term care costs, you probably have additional questions.
We have prepared an in-depth report that will provide you with answers. The report is being offered free of charge, and you can obtain the download through this website. To gain access, click this link: Medicaid Planning Report.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.