Florida rules crack down on nursing home coverage

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Florida has enacted rules that make it hard for seniors to receive government-subsidized nursing home care. One such rule lowers the amount of equity applicants can have in their homes.

The rules, which went into effect Nov. 1, set $500,000, rather than $750,000 as the maximum amount of equity interest applicants are allowed to have in their homes to quality for government coverage. But seniors still have time to adapt to a new rule regarding the look-back period. Starting in 2010, the look-back period for financial gift giving will extend to five years from three years.

States are required to use the new Medicaid nursing home eligibility rules under a provision in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act, which went into effect last year. So far, 37 states have done so, according to federal officials.
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