A lot of uncertainty remains around the matter of Ohio Medicaid eligibility. One great misunderstanding is that only the indigent or those less fortunate will meet the guidelines. The fact remains that unless you totally comprehend how this government assistance plan works, that you may needlessly lose your home and drain your retirement savings.
On the other hand, when you learn the Ohio Medicaid eligibility rules and apply them to your circumstances you will most likely qualify for this long term care benefit. So let's review the important eligibility rules to Medicaid so that you know where you stand.
First, anyone wanting to apply for Medicaid has to initially meet the following conditions:
- Age 65 or older
If you meet at least one of the above conditions then you pass the first test. However, passing the next steps is what trips up most people. Remember that Medicaid is a Federal Government program administered at the state level. Because of this, each state, and even possibly each county can and will interpret the rules differently.
As crazy as it sounds, each state has the power to interpret the Federal rules and then create state rules of their own. So let's cover the basics at the federal level.
How Much Income Can I Have and Still Qualify?
The first consideration is based on marital status. In other words how much income a person applying for Medicaid can have. Let's look at a single person case first.
The current maximum amount of monthly income for a single person is approximately $2022 per month. If you earn more than that then you are not qualified. If your income is above the maximum limit don't worry because there are approved strategies you can implement and still be eligible to receive Medicaid.
Unfortunately, most families are not aware of these strategies and end up paying for long term care out of their pocket.
Married couples are offered much more favorable terms. In a nutshell, the well spouse at home is entitled to a minimum monthly income between $1750-$2739. This number is based on a Medicaid term called the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance.
How Much Assets Can I Have and Still Qualify?
Now that we have covered the income rules, let's focus our attention to the assets rules for Ohio Medicaid eligibility:
3 Categories of Assets
1. Excluded Assets: some assets while available to you will be viewed excluded to Medicaid. The most common assets in this category are: $1500 in cash, the home, 1 car, pre-paid burial/funeral and a small amount of cash value life insurance.
2. Unavailable Assets: these are assets that are not legally accessible to you like: real estate that cannot be sold or an interest in someone else's estate.
3. Countable Assets: like the name suggest, these are assets that Medicaid will ask you to spend down on the long term care like: cash, CD's stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc.
In a single person case, the maximum amount of assets you can have is $1500.
In a marital case the rules are much more favorable. The well spouse at home is entitled to 50% of all assets but only up to a maximum of $109,560.
For example: if all assets are totaled and the amount is $100,000, then the well spouse will be entitled to either $50,000.The reason for this is because Ohio is known as 50% state. You should seek the help of a professional who knows the Ohio rules on this.
So as you can see if you are single or married you need to know the rules. However, what's more important after knowing the Medicaid eligibility rules is to learn how to use strategies for qualifying even if you have too much income or too many assets.