Medicaid Planning
A Boutique Law Firm Specializing in Wills, Trusts and Estates

Office at    Consultations in Kendall at
17071 West Dixie Hwy, Suite 303   
9990 SW 77th Avenue, Suite 220
North Miami Beach, Florida  33160 Miami, Florida  33156
(786)  454-8827   (305)  669-5262

Qualification for Florida Medicaid ICP (Nursing Home) Program

The following is general information which is not intended to be legal advice.

Three tests are applied by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to determine if a person over the age of 65 qualifies for the Medicaid ICP (Nursing Home)  program.  These tests are:  The "CARES" Assessment, the Asset Limit, and the Income Limit.

"CARES" Assessment:  Only persons who need skilled nursing care are eligible for the program. This is a subjective test, and is used to eliminate those applicants who are receiving custodial care, only.  If an applicant meets the appropriate Level of Care, then the State of Florida determines if he or she meets the two financial tests:

Asset Limits:  To qualify, the applicant's assets cannot exceed specific limits:  Certain assets are "countable" and other assets are "exempt assets."  Assets are often referred to as "resources."  Asset limits depend on whether the applicant is married or single.  The asset limit for single persons is $2,000.00 of countable assets.  If both the applicant and his or her spouse are in nursing homes, the asset limit is $3,000.00 in total assets.  If one spouse is in a nursing home and one is not, the asset limit of the spouse not in the nursing home is $113,640.00 (as of 2012).

Exempt Assets:  A number of assets are not considered when determining the applicant's qualification for Medicaid ICP.  The most important of these assets is the applicant's primary residence, which is usually referred to as his or her "homestead."  The homestead is exempt without limit as to its value.  So, even if the applicant's homestead is a mansion worth millions of dollars, it is still exempt.  Other exempt assets include one car for the applicant's personal use, family burial plots, an irrevocable pre-need funeral plan (or a burial fund no greater than $2,500 in value), personal property not exceeding $2,000 in value, term life insurance, wedding rings, and whole life insurance whose cash value does not exceed $2,500 in value.  Annuities under certain circumstances may also be exempt if properly structured.

Income Limit.  Florida is an "income cap" state, meaning that if the applicant's income from all sources exceeds the limit, he or she does not qualify for the Medicaid ICP program.  The limit is currently $2,094.00 per month (as of 2012.)  In the case of married couples, only the income of the applicant is considered.  "Income" generally includes income from all sources, including Social Security, pension payments, annuity payments, interest and dividends.  Even if income exceeds the income limit, applicants may still qualify for Medicaid ICP through the use of a Qualified Income Trust (QIT).   For further information on Florida Medicaid, you can call me at (786) 454-8827 or email us:

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