In order to be eligible for Medicaid, applicants must have no more than $2,000 (as of 2016) in “countable” assets (the dollar figure may be slightly more, depending on the state). Assets, as distinct from income, for Medicaid purposes are checking and savings accounts, CDs, Stocks, Bonds, personal property, vehicles, real estate, business, etc. Medicaid does exclude some assets, in full or part (making them “non-countable”). In order to qualify for Medicaid for long-term care, applicants must be under the $2,000 limit.
Applicants for Medicaid and their spouses may protect savings by spending them on non-countable assets. The following are examples of such expenditures:
- prepaying funeral expenses
- paying off a mortgage
- making repairs to a home
- replacing an old automobile
- updating home furnishings
- paying for more care at home
- buying a new home
In the case of married couples, it is often important that any spend-down steps be taken only after the unhealthy spouse moves to a nursing home if this would affect the community spouse’s resource allowance.
Spend down seems like a simple concept. However, Spend down is one area where a skilled Elder Law Attorney can be most helpful and more than pay for your investment in seeking his or her legal guidance. There are other allowable exceptions that you may take advantage of. How you spend down and what you spend on can make all of the difference. That difference may be between being left broke or being left well protected.
Get the best help you can to help you spend wisely. Contact us today before you its too late to save what you worked for all of your life!