Qualifying for Medicaid Can Help Pay for Nursing Home Expenses

Costs can be staggering if a spouse has to enter a nursing home for an extended period of time.  Consider this example:  A wife enters a nursing home while her husband (community spouse) lives at home. The couple has exempt assets including their home and car, but also has countable assets including cash, IRAs, and CDs totaling $289,000. The wife’s monthly income is $950 and her husband’s income is $2,900. However, the nursing home costs $5,000 per month, which is $1,150 more than their combined monthly income.

The husband inquired about financial assistance from Medicaid for his wife and learned that he is afforded income and asset protection designed to enable him to live out his life with independence and dignity.

As the community spouse he can have unlimited income as well as all the exempt assets, but his spousal protected resource amount maxed out at $115,920. Meaning, their countable assets exceeded the maximum by $173,080 ($289,000 – $115,920). Therefore, he needed to spendown the $173,080 overage before he could apply.

Within two months, the husband spent $25,000 on nursing home and other bills. He also converted the remaining $148,080 overage into a 48-month Medicaid compliant annuity, adding $3,085 to his monthly income. This spendown coupled with a properly submitted application resulted in Medicaid approval for his wife, which reduced her monthly nursing home cost to $890 (her $950 – $60 allowance).

Submitted by: The Law Offices of Michele Audet, P.C.

Contact: (817) 292-2000  

Visit:  www.MedicaidCounseling.com