Did you know it’s not necessary to spend down assets on unnecessary items when trying to qualify a loved one for Medicaid for nursing home related expenses? Medicaid’s asset limit is $2,000 for an individual. Many people will go on a spending spree and purchase unnecessary items to use up assets above the $2,000 limit in an attempt to qualify for Medicaid. However, rather than spending money unnecessarily, it is possible to set aside half or more of a loved one’s assets over $2,000 for future needs if this is done within Medicaid’s gifting rules. Medicaid will impose a disqualification period if assets are transferred. Nonetheless, assets can still be transferred if sufficient assets are converted to income to make sure the nursing home gets paid during the disqualification period. A skilled elder law attorney can guide you through these rules.

With respect to married couples, the asset limit is higher than $2,000. How much higher depends on how much the couple owned at the time a spouse entered the hospital or nursing home. Essentially, the limit is one-half of the couple's assets up to a maximum of $119,220. A skilled elder law attorney can help a married couple keep all assets in excess of this amount with no spend down required. Essentially, the plan involves converting the excess assets to income with a promissory note or annuity. That income all comeback to the spouse who remains living at home over time.

If you have a loved one who needs to become Medicaid eligible, it is important that you consult with us as soon as possible because timing is everything. We are here to help you with every aspect of the Medicaid process, including developing a custom plan to help you maximize the assets you can keep,assisting you with any spend down desired or required, compiling the information necessary for the Medicaid application, completing and submitting the Medicaid application, and aiding you with annual follow-up to retain Medicaid eligibility. We look forward to helping you and your family through this complicated and difficult process.