Posted by Babette B. Bach, Esq., Sarasota, FL
Question: How do I benefit from setting up a QIT or Qualified Income Trust for Florida Medicaid – and what is it?
Answer: A Qualified Income Trust is commonly called a QIT or a Miller Trust. It is necessary under Florida Medicaid law when the Medicaid applicant for skilled nursing home care or Medicaid diversion has gross monthly income of $2,163 or greater. (2014 figures).
When set up properly, this irrevocable trust enables a person to deposit income into a trust account each month. The money in the QIT account will not be counted as an asset for Medicaid or Long Term Care Benefits eligibility. However all monies deposited into the QIT can only be used to pay for the applicant’s medical expenses, care costs and spousal or other court ordered support. The goal of the QIT is to secure all of the income for medical necessities and spousal support and to provide a Medicaid lien on the account upon the passing of the applicant.
Only an attorney is licensed to draft an irrevocable QIT. Once established the trustee needs to be advised as to how to set up and correctly fund the account. If the QIT account is not correctly funded, the applicant will be either denied or disqualified from receiving Medicaid. These accounts are monitored by the Florida Department of Children and Families and the trustee must produce all bank statements, proof of gross income and receipts for all disbursements. Be careful to save all records.
Upon the death of the Medicaid applicant, Medicaid has a lien on all assets remaining in the QIT and the trustee is responsible to satisfy this lien and to provide documentation. This is another time that professional assistance is recommended.
For this reason, it is often recommended that board certified elder law attorney is consulted. It is also worth noting that this type of trust is irrevocable which means it cannot be cancelled and any funds remaining in the account at the time of your death are paid to the State up to the value of benefits paid out to you.
Please call us to schedule an appointment for assistance with Medicaid planning.
Babette B. Bach, Esquire, B.C.S.
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236