Medicaid Eligibility

Frequently Asked Questions About Medicaid Eligibility

Do I have to give away everything I own to receive Medicaid?
Medicaid eligibility allows for a maximum of $14,4000 in countable assets. The trick is to learn which resources are countable assets and which are exempt assets. The Medicaid planning process may allow you to convert your Countable Assets into Non-Countable Assets.

Can I give away my assets and still receive Medicaid?
When transferring assets through gift giving, there are many rules that apply. Some transfers are penalized; others are a necessary part in the Medicaid planning process. Whether or not there is a penalty period depends on what the gift was, to whom the gift was given and when it was given

Must I wait five years after giving anything away, before I am eligible for Medicaid?
Medicaid rules require a 60 month “lookback” for some asset transfers, especially those which were gifts, i.e., transferred at less than fair market value. But there are many transfers that carry no penalty under Medicaid rules.

When my spouse gets Medicaid, will I be able to keep all of our marital property and my inherited property?
Medicaid will examine both spouse’s assets even if only one is entering long-term care facility. You may, however, receive and allowance from your joint assets, called Community Spouse. The amount will be between $74,820 and $115,920 and may be even higher in some cases.

Are there any assets that I own that Medicaid will not count toward my or my spouse’s Medicaid eligibility?
Yes. There are some assets that Medicaid will ignore. Some of the common ones include:

  • Irrevocable funeral accounts for you and your family members (these must be set up through your funeral director)
  • Burial allowance up to $1,500 or life insurance policies with combined face value less than $2,500
  • Burial space items, e.g. cemetery lot, headstone, engraving, casket, grave opening and perpetual care (in addition to burial allowance of $1,500 and irrevocable funeral account)
  • Nursing Home Spouse retirement plans if in pay status and maximum income payment chosen (but income from plan is counted toward income spend down).
  • Personal Property

Will Medicare cover my long-term care costs?
Medicare allows only 20 days of full coverage and these 20 days are only covered if you were in a hospital for at least 3 days and you are now receiving skilled care. medicare may cover partial cost for the 80 days after that, but there are strict qualifications. After cover partial cost for the 80 days after that, but there are strict qualifications. After Medicare runs out you will either have to pay out-of-pocket or apply for Medicaid.

If I enter a nursing home as a private-pay-resident, do I have to use up my assets before receiving Medicaid?
Some nursing homes may try to convince you that the answer to this question is “yes”. That, however, is not true. Nursing homes are paid less per room from Medicaid then from a private-pay-resident. You are not required by Medicaid to use all your assets on nursing home cost.

Does my attorney-in-fact, as stated in my Power of Attorney, automatically have power to take property out of my name, if I need Medicaid?
One of the first tools in Medicaid planning is to sign a general, durable power of attorney that includes “gifting: power as set forth in the statutory Gift Rider. Many Powers of attorney do not include this provision, which allows your attorney-in-fact to re-title assets. We recommend a durable power-of-attorney that will cover all aspects of the Medicaid planning process.

Does my income have to be used to pay my spouse’s long-term care costs?
If your income is $2,898 per month or less, none will go towards your spouse’s care. If your spouse enters a nursing home and your income is below $2,898 per month, you will been titled to a portion of his or her income to bring you up that amount.

Can I hide my assets in order to qualify for Medicaid?
Medicaid fraud is a serious crime. The IRS will share information will the county departments of social services .his means that is you misrepresent yourself on the Medicaid application you will have to pay Medicaid back to avoid prosecution. That is why it is a good idea to consult with Medicaid Expert before beginning the Medicaid planning information process.

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