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What is a qualified income trust?

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What is a qualified income trust?

If you or a loved one need long-term care, you know how expensive these services can be. Medicaid can help, but you must have income and assets below a certain threshold in order to qualify.

A qualified income trust (QIT), which is also referred to as a Miller trust, is a legal arrangement that allows the Ohio Department of Medicaid not to count an individual’s income that is over a certain amount. This enables individuals receiving long-term care services to remain eligible for healthcare coverage through Medicaid.

Who Needs a QIT?

If you are receiving Medicaid long-term care services, you must have monthly incomes below a certain amount ($2,349 in 2020 for a single person in the state of Ohio). With a QIT, you can deposit your extra income into the trust to maintain your Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid long-term care services are available to eligible people who:

  • Live in a nursing facility
  • Live in an intermediate care facility for those who are intellectually disabled
  • Receive home- and community-based services through government programs

What Are the Requirements of QIT?

In Ohio, a QIT must include the following stipulations:

  • Only the individual’s income can be placed into the QIT. A QIT cannot be used for your spouse’s income or income from a family member.
  • Once the trust is established, it is irrevocable. You cannot put money into the trust to qualify for Medicaid, then later shut down the trust and take the money back.
  • You must name the state of Ohio as the beneficiary. After your death, the state can use the funds left in the trust to recover up to the total amount of Medicaid payments it paid out on your behalf.
  • It must be signed and dated by you, your spouse, or by a person legally acting on your behalf.

You can use the money in the trust to pay for medical expenses and personal needs; it can also cover bank fees associated with maintaining the trust.

How Do You Set Up a QIT?

As with all trusts, a QIT must be prepared, executed, and funded correctly. That’s why it’s essential to contact an experienced attorney to ensure your QIT will protect your Medicaid benefits. Contact us today to talk about how we can help you.

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