As people in New Jersey age, they may find their ability to care for themselves has declined. Whether it is due to an illness, an injury or simply old age, a person might decide that they have long-term care needs. Such care comes at a cost, however. Some people may be relying on Medicaid to pay for these services.
Long Term Services and Supports, for the purposes of Medicaid in New Jersey, are services and support for those who need to be placed in a nursing home, an assisted living community or need in-home care. This might include self-care, home-delivered meals and care management. There are clinical and financial requirements a person must meet to be eligible for LTSS.
If a person’s gross monthly income is higher than the applicable income limits, they can execute and fund a specific type of trust, known as a Qualified Income Trust. They can place the excess income in this trust. A QIT establishes a dedicated bank account for this purpose. Funds in a QIT are not counted as income for LTSS eligibility purposes. However, it should be noted that any money in a QIT must be spent monthly, as set by the New Jersey Family Care Eligibility Determining Agency.
There is also a five-year look-back period for LTSS, wherein a person’s financial accounts will be examined to determine if any assets were sold at a price that was less than their fair market value or were otherwise transferred. To be eligible for LTSS, a person must report all income and financial resources they earned over the past five years.
Understanding Medicaid eligibility requirements can be difficult. The requirements may change as new laws and regulations are implemented. Moreover, people will want to make sure they do not surpass the income caps placed on services, while at the same time prevent asset depletion. This is when Medicaid planning becomes important.