Florida Medicaid Lets The Community Spouse Keep Their Income

Many stressful events can occur during a marriage and having a spouse no longer safely able to live at home due to declining health can be right up at the top of the list. Long-term care is expensive. In Florida, the monthly costs for living in a skilled nursing facility can range from $6,000 – $8,000 per month.

Most couples have responsibly saved for their retirement years, but many times the nest egg that funds their retirement can’t stretch far enough to include the costs of long-term care. If the couple doesn’t have long-term care insurance then often they have to turn to the Florida Medicaid long-term care programs for assistance with paying for the costs of long-term care.

When the spouses have to consider Medicaid for assistance with the costs of skilled nursing care, the spouse who is going to remain living in the house can be torn. He or she wants to do what is best for the spouse in declining health, but how will they be able to both maintain the home and pay for long-term care?

Florida Medicaid realizes that the spouse remaining in the home (the community spouse) needs to have a minimum amount of income and assets on which to live. If the community spouse’s income is below the Medicaid minimum threshold for monthly income, then the community spouse gets to keep enough of the spouse in declining health’s income to get him or her up to the community spouse minimum monthly income amount. Sometimes, due to costs such as mortgages and other living expenses, the community spouse can have extra money over the minimum income amount diverted to her from the spouse in declining health’s income.

In the middle of an extremely difficult and emotional time, it can be a comfort to the community spouse to find out that she or he may be able to keep a portion of the spouse in declining health’s income in order to remain living in the marital home.