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How Medicaid Extracts Assets Prior to Paying for Care

By March 1, 2021 No Comments

Medicaid, which is a federal and state program, provides nearly 73 million Americans with health coverage. People who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), low-income, and qualified pregnant women and children are eligible to get Medicaid.

When determining whether or not an individual can start receiving Medicaid, the government will look at their income and assets. While the former is based on the federal poverty level (for instance, in Mississippi, it’s $4,000), the latter goes by different assets you have and how much they are worth.

How Medicaid Factors in Assets

The government will count assets like the balance in your savings and checking accounts, bonds, CDs, and stocks you may have. In a majority of states, you can have up to $2,000 if you’re an individual and up to $3,000 if you’re a married couple aside from these countable assets.
Assets outside of the countable ones would include your home, savings for your funeral, personal belongings, and car. If you live in your primary residence, your spouse lives there, or you are going back thereafter you get out of a nursing home, then that would not be factored in as an asset. However, if you have a house that’s an investment property, it would factor in.

How Long-Term Planning Can Ensure You’re Still Eligible for Medicaid

With proper long-term planning, you can still be eligible for Medicaid. For example, if you inherit a house, you can put it in an inaccessible irrevocable trust so that it’s exempt. You could also have a monthly allowance to pay for your medical care. You can form a life estate so you can retain control of a property until you’ve passed away, or gift money to loved ones.

Contacting an Estate Planning Attorney

If you need help navigating Medicaid and doing estate planning, then contact the estate planning attorneys at Legacy Law Group in Eastern Washington, Spokane Valley, and Spokane itself. Get in touch with us at (509) 315-8087 to get started.