What Qualifies a Person for a Skilled Nursing Facility in North Carolina?

Research shows that around 70% of Americans over 65 require long-term care at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, the cost of nursing home care can be steep if you are not eligible for Medicaid benefits. Read on to learn what qualifies a person for a nursing home in North Carolina and find out whether you meet the criteria.

If you are interested in more information, our Medicaid planning attorneys at Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, can answer all your questions. Call us today at 919-782-3500 to schedule your consultation. We serve clients in Raleigh and Wake Forest, North Carolina, and throughout the state.

North Carolina Nursing Home Level of Care (NHLOC)

NHLOC is a formal designation that states use to answer the question, “What qualifies a person for a nursing home in North Carolina?” Each state has its own definition of NHLOC. To qualify for a Medicaid-funded skilled nursing facility in North Carolina, a physician must formally determine that you require:

  • At least 8 hours of care by a registered nurse daily; or
  • 24-hour monitoring and needs assessment by a nurse.

Physicians consider your functional physical ability, medical needs and ongoing health issues, behavioral issues, and cognitive impairment when making their determination.

North Carolina Medicaid Income & Asset Limits

In addition to having a medical condition that requires daily care and assistance with activities of daily living, you must also meet the current Medicaid asset and income limits.

2023 Medicaid Asset Limits

You may own up to $2,000 in countable assets and still be eligible for Medicaid long-term care. If you are over the countable asset limit, you will not qualify for Medicaid assistance.  Countable assets include, but are not limited to:

  • A second home
  • A second vehicle
  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Whole life insurance
  • Annuities
  • Investments
  • Retirement accounts

If you are applying for Medicaid long-term care benefits as a couple, you can keep up to $3,000 in countable assets. If only one spouse requires care, the other spouse (the “community spouse”) may keep between $24,724 and $148,620 depending on the couple’s assets when the institutionalized spouse entered the skilled nursing facility.

The maximum allowed home equity is $688,000; however, if the home is occupied by a spouse or other dependent relative of the occupant, that limit may not apply.  While your primary residence is not a countable asset for eligibility purposes, North Carolina Medicaid can recover any costs paid on your behalf from the home after you pass away.

2023 Medicaid Income Limits

The majority of your monthly income will likely go towards the cost of your care. You may only keep a small amount ($30) per month as a personal needs allowance.

If you are married, your spouse may keep a monthly income between $2.289.00 and $3,715.50.

Contact an Experienced Medicaid Planning Attorney in Raleigh and Wake Forest, North Carolina

At Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, we have over three decades of experience assisting seniors and their families in all aspects of Medicaid planning. We can help you maximize and preserve eligibility for Medicaid without spending down all your assets. Call 919-782-3500 or contact us online to schedule your consultation and learn what qualifies a person for a nursing home in North Carolina.