Elder Law Group Blog

Appropriate Medicaid ‘Spend Down’ Items

Jun 15, 2017 | News, Planning

Appropriate Medicaid 'Spend Down' ItemsTo be eligible for Medicaid Long-Term Care benefits, you must meet the financial eligibility standards. One aspect of the financial eligibility standard is meeting resource eligibility. This means that to qualify for the benefits, you cannot have resources valued over a specified amount.
Resources are either exempt or non-exempt. This distinction is critically important. Exempt resources do not count toward the determination of resources eligibility, whereas non-exempt resources do. Exempt resources include your home, one vehicle, household furnishings, a burial plot or urn space, or a life insurance policy with a face value of less than $1,500. Examples of non-exempt resources are cash, certain other investments, other real property, and certain other assets and valuables.
A single recipient cannot have more than $2,000 in non-exempt resources. Resource eligibility for married recipients is more complex, particularly when the recipient’s spouse will remain living at home. In these cases, eligibility is based on the total amount of resources that both spouses own. As a general rule, married couples cannot have more than $56,726 in non-exempt resources (community spousal resource allowance of $54,726 plus $2,000 for the Medicaid applicant’s spouse).
If you have more than the allowable amount of non-exempt assets, there are ways to protect those assets while still obtaining Medicaid Long-Term Care benefits. To reduce countable resources, you may purchase exempt resources or exhaust those resources on appropriate “spend down” items. A few appropriate “spend down” items are:

  • Costs for professional services, such as lawyer’s fees and accountant’s fees.
  • Costs of repairs to your home.
  • The purchase of certain personal property items.
  • The purchase of a special kind of Medicaid friendly Annuity.

If you are considering how to properly “spend down” non-exempt assets, it is critical that you consult with an Elder Law Attorney. Medicaid eligibility, including the resource eligibility test, is a highly complex area of law.
If you live in the Spokane or Tri-Cities area, let us help you explore the Medicaid Asset Preservation StrategyTM that is appropriate for you. A solid plan can help you avoid unnecessarily depleting your family’s assets.
At Elder Law Group PLLC, we help our clients protect assets, obtain Medicaid benefits, and create necessary Estate Planning documents. As skilled asset protection lawyers, we will give you legal advice on the best options available to meet your objectives and protect the assets you have accrued over a lifetime. We invite you to learn more about our team here, and read what our clients have to say about us here.
Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate guidance on long-term care, asset protection, and Estate Planning.

How do I select a Trustee?

If you are planning to set up a trust, one of the most important decisions that you will have to make is the person(s) you want to serve as your Trustee. Your Trustee will be responsible for managing the assets that you place in your trust and working with the trust’s...

Understanding Probate & Estate Administration

It’s no secret that losing a loved one is hard. At Elder Law Group PLLC, we understand that our clients are going through a difficult time. We provide personalized and compassionate legal representation as we help you to navigate through the estate administration...

An Elder Law Attorney Can Help You Choose Estate Executors and Administrators

When you are making a last will and testament, you must choose someone who will carry out the wishes that are expressed in that final document.  This person is called the executor of the will.  If an executor is not named in your will, or if the person named...
Elder Law Group Logo

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Please subscribe to learn more about how Estate Planning can protect you, your family and your money.

You have Successfully Subscribed!