Medicaid Eligibility

Medicaid long-term care benefits aren’t available to everyone.  You must meet strict asset and income limits to get benefits.  But that doesn’t mean you have to be broke.  Medicaid ignores some assets during the application process.  Understanding what counts toward the limit (and what doesn’t) is the key to Medicaid eligibility.

Asset Limit

The asset limit is usually what the seniors who call our office are most concerned with—and with good reason.  The Medicaid caseworker will add up your assets and check to see whether the total is less than $2,000.

If you have over $2,000, you’ll be put into a spend down.  That means you have to spend everything above $2,000 on your medical care and long-term care before Medicaid will kick in and cover you.

But there is GOOD NEWS—some assets aren’t counted against the $2,000 limit.  They are called exempt assets.  This is especially important for married couples, where the healthy spouse (called the community spouse in the Medicaid system) needs a house, car, and money to live on.

And in addition to the exempt assets, the community spouse gets the Community Spouse Resource Allowance.  The CSRA allows the community spouse to keep up to $109,560 of the couple’s non-exempt assets (in 2011, it changes each year).  Whether an asset is counted or exempt depends upon many factors, including its current value, how it is owned, and how it was purchased.

If you already meet the asset requirements for Medicaid eligibility, great!  We can help you apply for Medicaid benefits to start saving on nursing home expenses immediately.

But even if you have too many assets to qualify, you still may have options.

I know what you’re probably thinking…

“Why plan for Medicaid when we have all of this money?”

But it’s because you have something worth saving that you need to plan now.  We can recommend a plan to protect your assets while helping you become eligible for Medicaid benefits.

Don’t make the same mistake countless others in your situation have made—waiting until they’re out of money and out of options.  By planning well in advance, we can help you preserve the money you have worked so hard for.

Income Limit

The income limits are usually the easier hurdle to clear.  That is because people usually don’t even consider Medicaid unless their income is less than their medical expenses.  But it’s good to know the income rules because you may be denied benefits or the community spouse may have to contribute some of their income if it is too high.