Posted on: May 24, 2017
Medicaid is a health care program funded jointly by federal and state governments, and is available to people who have insufficient resources or income to pay for their own care. It pays for the cost of Long-Term Care. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet the resource (asset) test and income test.
Establishing Income Eligibility for Medicaid
Your monthly income, including pensions, VA benefits, or Social Security benefits, must be less than the private pay rate in the nursing facility plus your monthly medical expenses. The income requirement rarely disqualifies a person from benefits eligibility.
If you are married the income eligibility test is more complicated. The income of the spouse seeking Medicaid benefits is determined by first seeing what income comes in the name of that spouse. If this amount exceeds the eligibility standard for that spouse, under certain circumstances, he or she may still be eligible if one-half of the income of both spouses is less than the eligibility standard.
For guidance on determining Medicaid eligibility, contact Elder Law Group PLLC here.
Establishing Resource Eligibility for Medicaid
Resource eligibility is based on the total amount of resources you own. However, some resources are exempt, which means that they do not count toward the resource eligibility test for Medicaid. Exempt resources include your home (with certain limitations), your personal property, a vehicle, a burial plot or urn space, and life insurance policy valued at $1,500 or less.
A single Medicaid recipient cannot have more than $2,000 in non-exempt resources. Resource eligibility for married recipients is more complex. Married couples are allowed to retain more resources than a single person so as to avoid impoverishing the well spouse. As a general rule, married couples cannot have more than $56,726 in non-exempt resources (community spousal resource allowance of $54,726 plus $2,000 for the Medicaid applicant spouse).
If you have more than the allowable amount of non-exempt assets, there are ways to protect those assets while still obtaining Medicaid Long-Term Care benefits. A solid plan utilizing our Smart Spend-DownTM procedures and our Medicaid Asset Preservation StrategyTM can help you avoid unnecessarily depleting your assets.
As skilled asset protection lawyers, we will give you legal advice on the best options available to meet your objectives and protect the assets you have accrued over a lifetime. We invite you to learn more about our team here, and read what our clients have to say about us here.
Elder Law Group PLLC has been recognized as one of the fastest growing law firms in the U.S. as an Annual Law Firm 500 Award honoree. Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate guidance on Long-Term Care planning, Asset Protection Estate Planning TM, or other legal needs of seniors, the disabled, or vulnerable adults and their families.