With their parents reaching retirement age, many Florida families face a new health care challenge — senior health care costs. Many seniors are likely facing increased health care costs as they continue to age. Since most are unable to work and do not have access to high-value retirement plans or pensions, they turn to their families for help. These costs average $8,000 every month.

Low-income families may look toward public benefit programs like Medicaid for coverage. If a family qualifies, Medicaid may help cover a portion of the costs.

How can one qualify for Medicaid in Florida?

A federal program run by each state, Medicaid assistance covers all basic healthcare needs for low-income citizens. The state determines eligibility by comparing a family’s income to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Those that fall below a certain income threshold are eligible.

To make calculations easier, Florida’s Medicaid program uses cash equivalents of FPL. For example, if a household of two adults and three children take on the healthcare of an ailing grandparent, they qualify for Medicaid if they make less than $40,805 per year. A single adult helping both their parents in their declining years must make less than $28,888.

There are limits to options for elder care, however. Medicaid will not cover all services, but the state makes exceptions for specific ailments. Mandatory services covered under Medicaid include:

  • Assisted living facilities and in-home care
  • Hospital care, both inpatient and outpatient
  • Lab works and x-rays
  • Physician services
  • Transportation to and from medical care

Optional services include prosthetics, eyeglasses, dentist’s visits, chiropractic services, hospice, and more. Medicaid is a flexible program designed to help those who need care, regardless of finances. As of January 2020, Florida’s Medicaid program services over 3.6 million individuals.

A lawyer can help secure finances

Families looking to secure extra funding to take care of their aging loved ones can reach out to local lawyer familiar with elder law to explore options, including Medicaid. For those denied Medicaid, an attorney can help appeal the decision and secure the necessary funding.