Florida Medicaid Increases Personal Needs Allowance: Effective July 1, 2023
The Florida Legislature recently raised the Florida Medicaid Personal Needs Allowance from $130 per month to $160 per month, effective July 1, 2023.
In Florida, Medicaid covers the difference between the full cost of long-term care in a skilled nursing facility and an individual’s income for eligible Florida residents. As a part of their patient responsibility, nursing home residents receiving Medicaid benefits must pay their monthly income to the facility, which covers the cost of their room and board and medical care.
Additionally, they are entitled to a monthly Personal Needs Allowance, which is a stipend they may use to purchase items or services not covered by Medicaid. This recent increase allows nursing home residents on Medicaid Long-Term Care Program to retain $160 a month from their income for personal needs.
The recipients may utilize the Personal Needs Allowance anyway they desire. Typically, residents use their allowance for haircuts, clothing, personal hygiene products, eyeglasses, hearing aids and batteries, supplements, and anything else benefiting the Medicaid recipient. The recipient may manage their own Personal Needs Allowance, however, those who are unable to manage their Personal Needs Allowance may have an agent under a Durable Power of Attorney, or the nursing home, manage their allowance on their behalf. The nursing home and agent must provide documentation for the transaction, to account for how the money was spent.
A recipient is not required to completely spend the entire $160 each month. However, the money that is not spent will be deemed as an asset. The asset limit for a Medicaid recipient is $2,000 which means that on the last day of each month, a Medicaid recipient must have less than $2,000 in their account. An overage of assets could lead to becoming ineligible for Medicaid and losing benefits.
Since there is not a federal rule as to how often a state must increase their Personal Services Allowance, this increase is very exciting for Florida’s seniors. Whether you have already begun the Medicaid planning process or are preparing for future needs, the process is never easy, but at SAMUELS WOOD PLLC, our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can guide you through every step to ensure you receive the benefits you need. Contact our firm at 561-864-3371.