Medicaid Allowance: Good news from Florida…


Medicaid Allowance increase in FloridaMedicaid has again revised one of its regulations. The “Personal Needs Medicaid Allowance” has been increased to $105.00 (up from $35.00) effective July 1, 2014. The Personal Needs Allowance is the amount of income a nursing home resident who is receiving Florida Medicaid long-term care benefits may retain for personal expenditures. The Medicaide allowance may be used to pay for personal items and services that Medicaid and Medicare do not cover, such as toiletries, haircuts, etc.

A Medicaid recipient may also use his/her income to pay for a Medicare supplemental policy and/or Medicare Part D policy.  In addition, if the Medicaid beneficiary has a community spouse who is not residing in a nursing home, a portion of the recipient’s income may be diverted to the well spouse in order to bring the spouse’s income up to the minimum monthly needs allowance, currently $1966.00 per month (effective July 1, 2014).

This has a significant impact on a person’s well-being and mood. Afterall, this Medicaid allowance covers soaps, toothpaste shampoos, shaving items, snacks and other basics which many of us take for granted. An increase also helps lessen the financial stresses people experience. Added income usually helps people feel like they have a bit more control over their own lives. This is especially important to Nursing Home residents whose experience is mostly communal. Being able to purchase small items has a positive impact on one’s self esteem.

Whatever amount of income remains after these expenses are subtracted is considered the patient’s responsibility, and must go to the nursing home. One can only imagine having leftover money. The large jump in the amout of the allowance shows how insufficeint the previous allotment of $35.00 was. The increase is much more realistic for meeting an individual’s monthly personal needs.

Info Provided by Karp Law Firm – Palm Beach County, Florida–