When a loved one needs assistance paying for the costs of long-term care,
many families look to the Medicaid programs to provide that assistance.
The FL Medicaid programs are available to provide the safety net these
families seek, but the size and shape of the safety net varies depending
upon whether the loved one needs care in a nursing home or in an assisted
When the Medicaid long-term care assistance program was created in 1965,
it was primarily created for the nursing home because there was not much
need for assisted living communities at that time. The need for assisted
living communities came about as modern medicine allowed people to live
longer with chronic illnesses and more families sent both spouses into
Although the income and asset qualification rules for the FL Medicaid nursing
home and assisted living programs are very similar, the amount of financial
assistance available under each program is very different. At the nursing
home level of care, most of the time the Medicaid recipient contributes
a majority of their income towards the monthly nursing home bill and Medicaid
pays the remainder of the bill (a portion of the income can be given to
the spouse instead of the nursing home in some cases). In addition, the
person requiring care can apply for Medicaid as soon as he or she becomes
a resident in the nursing home.
In the FL Medicaid assisted living program, Medicaid only pays a portion
of the monthly cost for the assisted living community and the potential
resident has to be able to pay the remainder of the bill. In addition,
before the person requiring care can even apply for Medicaid to help with
the costs for an assisted living community, he or she has to go on a waiting
list and sometimes wait over a year for the opportunity to even apply
for Medicaid benefits.
Both the FL Medicaid nursing home and assisted living benefits programs
can provide much needed assistance in coping with the costs of long-term
care, but the amount of financial assistance available varies greatly
between the two programs.