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Miller Trusts

What is a Miller Trust?

One of the requirements for nursing home Medicaid in Texas is that the patient’s income not exceed a limit or “Income Cap” established by the state each year. For 2013, Texas has set the income cap at $2,130. This means that the patient’s gross monthly income cannot exceed $2,130 each month.

For example, if a patient’s gross monthly income is $2,500 then, according to Medicaid, they have too much income.  At the same time, however, they do not have sufficient income to pay the full private nursing home rate, which usually exceeds $5,000 a month. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Miller Trusts

The patient, or someone acting for the patient, can establish a Qualified Income Trust. This trust is often called a Miller Trust. Once the trust document is properly prepared and signed a bank account is set up for the trust.  Each month, the patient’s income is deposited into the trust account and payment is made to the nursing home from the Miller Trust funds. The patient is also entitled to a payment of $60 as a Personal Needs Allowance. The patient may spend the Personal Needs Allowance any way they want.

Often, other payments may be made from the Miller Trust. For example, certain health insurance premiums can be paid from the trust and, in many cases, if the patient is married a portion of the patient’s income may be paid to the Community Spouse (the spouse at home).

A properly prepared Miller Trust that is not properly set up and funded will not solve the patient’s problem. An applicant should have a Miller Trust drafted by an attorney who is familiar with Texas Medicaid guidelines to ensure that it is set up and funded properly.

Miller Trust Help in Houston, Texas

Mulder & Freedman, P.C. has prepared hundreds of Miller Trusts for our clients. For Mulder & Freedman, “preparation” of a Miller Trust is not limited to the trust document itself.  We also provide detailed written instructions on how to execute the trust, how to properly set up and fund the trust account, and how to properly make those payments required or allowed by Medicaid. Our calculations take into account any taxes or health insurance premiums that are withheld from the patient’s income (i.e. Medicaid Part B or a Medicare Supplement). And, of course, we are available to personally answer any questions the client may have.

A Miller Trust, properly prepared, set up and funded, may mean thousands of dollars of assistance for the patient and security for the spouse at home.

At Mulder & Freedman, we recognize the fear and pressure felt by families at a very difficult time. Our goal is to make the entire process as easy as possible. A Miller Trust is only one part of the Medicaid puzzle. Health care planning can be complex and there can be many pitfalls along the way.

For guidance from competent experienced attorneys call Mulder & Freedman at (713) 721-5657 today to speak with an attorney at no charge.

Mulder & Freedman, P.C.

Competence with Compassion