Ohio Medicaid Rules & Requirements to Qualify for Nursing Home Costs
April 25th, 2012
The Ohio Medicaid rules determining whether an applicant qualifies for benefits depend on the particular program a person is applying for. In this article, we're going to discuss the qualifications for an elderly applicant applying for benefits to pay for nursing home costs.
Ohio elder law attorneys advise looking at the qualification rules far in advance of entering a nursing home if you plan for those costs to be covered by Medicaid. Planning in advance is necessary because Medicaid looks at an applicant's assets and resources for the five years previous to the application date. Any unprotected assets and resources an applicant had access to during that time could delay or jeopardize the applicant's receipt of benefits.
Ohio Medicaid Rules for Nursing Home Benefits
The most common reason Ohio elder law attorneys are called on for Medicaid planning is to ensure that Medicaid will pay for the costs of a nursing home if they should ever need one. Here are the Ohio Medicaid rules for qualifying for those benefits:
To qualify for Medicaid benefits as an elderly person with nursing home needs, the applicant must . . .
- Be a U.S. citizen or a qualified alien
- Reside in Ohio
- Have a Social Security Number
- Be 65 years old or older
- Have available resources totaling no more than $1,500 for an individual. If the applicant is married, the spouse is permitted to keep half of the couple's assets in his/her name to a maximum of $113,000.
To keep people from giving away or hiding all their resources and assets in order to qualify for Medicaid, Ohio Medicaid rules require applicants to reveal all assets and resources they had access to for five years prior to applying. This is known as the "five-year look-back" and is the primary reason that Medicaid planning needs to take place prior to any need for Medicaid benefits.
Resources such as real estate, bank accounts, investment accounts and other financial accounts can be confiscated after a person's death to reimburse benefits paid on behalf of the person. If Medicaid finds that a person gave away assets and resources within five years prior to applying for Medicaid, the applicant's benefits may be delayed up to several years as a penalty. Since nursing homes can cost $10,000 per month or more, that delay can be very costly.
In Ohio, an elder law attorney can assist with Medicaid planning and provide several strategies for protecting assets so that you or your elderly loved one can qualify for Medicaid without losing those assets.
Call Ohio elder law attorney Ted Gudorf at 1-877-483-6730 to schedule a free consultation regarding qualifying for nursing home benefits under Ohio Medicaid rules.