Full-time nursing care is a financial burden. If medical and financial eligibility standards are met, Medicaid assistance may be available. This article deals with the financial requirements.
Certain threshold figures are adjusted annually. As of January 1, 2016, a single person applying for assistance must have less than $2,000.00 in countable assets. If the applicant is married, the spouse who is not in a nursing home (“community spouse”) may also have $119,220 in countable assets.
Certain assets are not countable or are exempt. If nursing home care is possible, and Medicaid might be sought, it is unwise to sell or change title to the home, add names to assets, purchase an annuity, or give anything away without first seeking professional advice. A transfer of assets may cause one to be ineligible for Medicaid for up to five years, although spouses can transfer assets between each other freely.
The applicant’s income is limited to $2,199 per month. If the income exceeds that amount, anIrrevocable Income Only Trust will alleviate the problem. The personal needs allowance of the applicant is $105 per month.
The community spouse will be able to keep that spouse’s income and maybe a portion of the applicant’s income, depending on the community spouse’s income and expenses. The community spouse’s monthly maintenance needs allowance for this year is a minimum of $1,991.25 and a maximum of 2,980.50.
If assets or income exceed the figures, there may be other alternatives. Seek professional advice from an attorney who practices elder law, particularly Medicaid planning, to determine whether there are legal alternatives to assist in qualifying.