Many retirees today are finding out that they have too much monthly income to qualify for Florida Medicaid benefits to pay for their long term care. The solution is to set up a Qualified Income Trust also known as a “Miller Trust” as part of your estate planning process.
The Qualified Income Trust is an irrevocable trust that will allow you to qualify for and receive the benefits of Medicaid programs such as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), the Institutional Care Program (ICP), Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers, and Institutional Hospice, even if your income is over the Medicaid allowable limits.
The Qualified Income Trust requires that all or a portion of your income be deposited into a special account set up for the trust. You only need to deposit the amount of your income which exceeds the cap set by Medicaid. The current income limits can be found here: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/docs/ssi_fin_elig_chart.pdf. The income must be deposited monthly.
Once the Qualified Income Trust is set up it accumulates the income you deposit during your lifetime. The income accumulated inside the trust is used to pay for the amount of your patient responsibility for your long term care. When you die the Qualified Income Trust pays any remaining accumulated income to the State of Florida up to the amount of Medicaid benefits provided.
You cannot be the trustee of your own Qualified Income Trust. Normally a family member or another trusted person or organization serves as trustee.
Qualified Income Trusts are quite complex and must comply with a myriad of rules to be certain you will qualify for Medicaid benefits. It is important that you have a skilled attorney assist you with setting up and administering your Qualified Income Trust.
For more information about estate planning or to set up a Qualified Income Trust please contact attorney Matthew J. Monaghan.