Medicaid & Title-19
The rules and regulations regarding state assistance in Connecticut can be confusing. In an effort to better serve you, we have a Certified Preplanning Consultant on staff who stays updated to on all communications from the Department of Social Services (the department that sets the guidelines for Medicaid and other state assistance).
The average costs of nursing home in CT are over 9950, month/ over 100k/yr (this is an average, some are significantly higher) and the average cost of support is still rising rapidly. The state realizes that every person requires and needs certain basic assets. As a result, the Department of Social Services created the Medicaid program and in it will exclude certain items from being considered as resources when applying for Title 19. The following is a list of the exclusions including those items associated with Advance Funeral Planning:
personal asset account: An individual may retain $1,800 in an asset account (additional rules apply for married couples). The state will subsidize up to $1,800 towards funeral costs for qualified Medicaid recipients, but will first review their estate and deduct the value of any assets found from this amount including any remaining funds in their cost of living MMNA (Minimal Monthly Needs Allowance) account. Additionally, the state of Connecticut places a cap of $4,600 on the total amount that may be spent on any subsidized funeral. The cap includes any contributions from outside sources including from other family members.
prepaid funeral contracts: Irrevocable Burial Account:This account is limited to $5,400 and can be either a trust or insurance account opened with a licensed Connecticut funeral home. Revocable Burial Space Itemization Account: This account currently has no set limit and is reserved to fund for the following items that may not be covered in the above $5,400 Irrevocable Account including: grave, crypt, niche, casket, urn, outer burial container, grave opening and closing fee, headstone or grave marker. The law that allows this account to also be excluded as an asset is Connecticut Public Act 04-255 dated October 1, 2004.
life insurance proceeds: Certain life insurance policies (such as term) are excluded as an asset. If the policy has a cash value, that amount may count as an asset and the policy would need to be cashed-in. However, if the face value of the policy or combination of policies is less than $1,500, then their cash value does not count and you may keep them.
burial plots: Either an existing plot or "the reasonable cost of one that needs to be purchased" is excluded.
Note: There is a 5 year look back period to see whether the Title 19 recipient intentionally gave away money and/or property in order to qualify. We are happy to answer questions, but also recommend you consult with an attorney who is well-versed in Elder Care Law. When you make the proper arrangements for estate planning in advance, (ie: Funeral Preplanning, Home Transfer, Asset Protection, etc.) you will find the processes much easier at a time of need and can avoid costly mistakes.
The current Connecticut state statutes regarding funeral service contractscan be found here: Funeral Service Contract Regulations
We can answer any questions that you may have about prepaid burial accounts and the regulations pertaining to them. Please feel free to call us at (203)866-0747 to schedule a complimentary consultation. This information is subject to change at any time per the State of Connecticut.