By Attorney Elizabeth Durnell
Yes, the program is called PASSPORT. The State of Ohio offers this program through Medicaid to pay for up to 20 hours a week of in-home care to a person who meets certain health and financial requirements.
To meet the health requirements for PASSPORT, a person must require assistance with two of the activities of daily living. These include getting in and out of bed, bathing, cooking, dressing, going to the restroom, and mobility, just to name a few.
The financial requirements differ based on whether the application is for a couple or a single person. For a single person, they are allowed to keep $1500 in cash assets and exempt assets such as their home, one car and an irrevocable burial contract. For a couple, the same rules apply, plus the healthy spouse may keep half of the couple's resources with a maximum of approximately $114,000 and a minimum of approximately $22,000.
However, the exempt assets are not protected from the Estate Recovery Program. This Program is run by the State Attorney General's office and was created so the State of Ohio can recoup some of the money spent for a person's care. The State has the right to place liens on the exempt property to recover some of the money paid on that person's behalf.
There is good news, however. If you have too many assets to qualify today, it is not too late to protect some of your assets through the use of trusts and other estate planning tools so that you can qualify for benefits in the future.
Also, if you were a wartime veteran or the widow of a wartime, you may qualify for a VA benefit that you can use to help pay for in-home care. But you must coordinate the applications for benefits, because the rules to qualify for VA are different than the rules to qualify for Medicaid.
To find out more about this great program, please contact the Elder Law Attorneys at Cooper, Adel and Associates, for a free consultation.
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