Nursing home costs can be outrageous. Sometimes the funds are just not available to cover the cost of round-the-clock nursing home care. Fortunately, Medicaid is available to help with nursing home expenses for qualified low-income individuals. Even though Medicaid is a federally funded program, each state has its own eligibility and application requirements. Your application will need to be submitted to the appropriate Medicaid office in your state. If you need help finding the location, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
Meet the eligibility requirement. No matter which state you reside in, you must be at least 65 years of age or deemed disabled or blind to receive Medicaid coverage for nursing homes.
Meet the income requirements. There are certain income guidelines Medicaid applicants must meet. For example, in Georgia an eligible individual cannot exceed $2,022 per month. Most of your income will need to be applied toward nursing home expenses. You are allowed to keep a small amount of your income each month. In Connecticut, nursing home residents can keep $69 a month for personal needs.
Meet the asset limits. Individuals cannot have more than $2,000 in countable assets. A couple entering a nurse home is not allowed more than $3,000. Exempt assets include your home, primary vehicle and personal possessions. Most states do allow you to "spend down" your assets if you exceed the acceptable amount.
Select a nursing home approved by Medicaid. Before entering a nursing home, verify with Medicaid. Contact your local Medicaid office and provide the name of the nursing home.
Apply for Medicaid coverage. You will need to complete the application for Medicaid coverage. Many hospitals have Human Services caseworkers who take Medicaid applications. If you are currently in a nursing home, the staff will be able to assist you with the application process. Your finances will need to be verified before your application is approved. Prepare to submit documents to show assets and earnings, such as bank account statements and mortgage deeds.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.