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What are the Florida Medicaid Requirements?

Hands holding a stethoscope and word "MEDICAID"  medical concept.

Florida Medicaid is a needs-based governmental program operating as a collaboration between state and federal authorities. The program is only available for certain Floridians who satisfy certain criteria. The eligibility criteria update and change regularly, which is why it is all the more important to work with a seasoned West Palm Beach Medicaid planning and elder law attorney on a regular basis. Read on for a discussion of the current Medicaid requirements in Florida.

Baseline Requirements for Medicaid Eligibility

To be eligible for Medicaid in Florida, an applicant must be a resident of Florida, must need health care or health insurance assistance, and must have income and assets below a certain threshold level.

In addition to the income and asset limits, per the federal government, Medicaid applicants must satisfy the following:

  • Be at least 65 years of age;
  • Be pregnant or have a minor child under the age of 18;
  • Be blind or have a disability; OR
  • Have a family member, including a child, spouse, or parent, living in the household who is blind or disabled.

We discuss the current income and asset limits for seniors to obtain long-term care below. In addition to these baseline requirements, an applicant must have a sufficient level of medical need in order to qualify for long-term Medicaid care in Florida. Different programs are available depending on the need of the applicant, but at a minimum, the applicant should require supervision and assistance to complete daily activities.

2021 Medicaid Income and Asset Limits for Long-Term Senior Care in Florida

The asset limits for Medicaid are updated periodically. In 2021, a single applicant who is 65 years or older can possess up to $2,000 in cash, stocks, bonds, and other liquid assets without affecting eligibility for long-term care. Individuals may also earn up to $2,382/month in income. Married couples applying together can earn double the income per month ($4,764) and possess up to $3,000 in assets. When only one spouse is applying for Medicaid, the applicant can have an income of $2,382/month and $2,000 in assets, while their non-applicant spouse can possess up to $130,380 in assets. Blind and disabled individuals are permitted high asset levels under the Medicaid rules.

Importantly, remember the rule & benefit of Medicaid Planning is to qualify and protect assets above these caps without waiting five years. Also, applicants whose income exceeds the thresholds can still qualify under certain circumstances. If their medical bills are sufficiently high, they may qualify for the “Medically Needy” program. Applicants with income may also preserve eligibility by placing excess income into a qualifying trust. Other Medicaid planning tools may be available with assistance from a Medicaid planning attorney.

Plan for Your Medicaid Eligibility

A skilled West Palm Beach Medicaid planning attorney can help you and your family plan appropriately to maximize your chances to qualify for Medicaid and other needs-based governmental programs. If you are in need of a dedicated and detail-oriented Florida Medicaid planning and elder law attorney, contact the experienced and effective West Palm Beach trust and estates attorneys Shalloway & Shalloway at 561-686-6200.

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