How much do I have to pay a Florida Nursing Home if my Spouse is on Medicaid?

by Kellen Bryant

In this article, I’m going to answer the question: How much do I have to pay a Florida nursing home if my spouse is on Medicaid?  My previous article covers how much you would have to pay if your parent or a single person needs nursing home Medicaid in Florida.

This question is best-answered by starting with what you, as the healthy spouse, get to keep each month.

After that I’m going to zoom out in this explanation about other concepts that you need to be aware of, because once you get the “keep amount”  it can be adjusted under a couple different circumstances.

To watch this video from my youtube channel, click here.

What do you get to keep?

It’s a varied number, of what you get to keep, and it goes up each year.

The healthy spouse; a spouse that does not need nursing care, gets to keep a maximum of around $2900 each month in cash from the income coming in, then the rest needs to be paid to the nursing home. That’s the checks coming in that are deposited each month.

I’m going to talk now about how to get more or less on that number, because it’s not always going to be $2900.

How does the healthy spouse get to keep more than $2900?

First way is you can ask the state of Florida Medicaid office and say “Hey, I need more than $2900 to live. Here are all of my expenses, I need a bigger amount.” And so you can get a hearing with the state of Florida to get a larger amount to keep. That’s  including the healthy spouse’s income and borrowing from the sick spouse’s income.

Another way to do it is through a Non-Divorce alimony lawsuit. You need to work under the supervision of a qualified elder law attorney to do such procedure. It will involve another attorney to ask the court to keep you and your spouse married. This will make it so that the healthy spouse can get alimony from the spouse in the nursing home, so that the healthy spouse has more income to live on. That’s how you can more than $2900 a month if you are a married couple and have sick spouses in a nursing home.

Although, it can go lower than $2900.

There’s a minimum and a maximum of what the healthy spouse can keep. The range is between as little at $1900, and as high as, again at $2900.

So, why do we go lower?

We go lower if the couple does not have a high amount of home expenses, living related expenses. So we’re taking that $1900 in most cases and we are adding on living expenses; money you can keep to pay living expenses.

We’re also adding on money for the couple that they get to keep to pay health insurance.

So the married couple has a low income, maybe their joint is below $2500, then sometimes you get below $2900. So you can’t pull out the total combined gross income, whether or not you’re on Medicaid is below $2900, of course, you can’t go higher than that.

But for some cases where the housing expenses aren’t very high, or there’s not much health insurance that you’re paying each month, the amount that the healthy spouse can keep is much lower than $2900.

This is a very, very confusing subject and it’s always best to discuss and handle these kind of issues and questions with an elder law attorney.

If you’re  confused with anything in this article, some of the concepts that I discussed have been discussed in a previous article that I made about “How much do I have to pay the nursing home if my parent is on Florida Medicaid?”

If you have any other questions what the healthy spouse can keep then contact an elder law attorney in your area.

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