For many elderly individuals, Medicaid becomes very important as a means to obtain medical care in their later years. However, because Medicaid is a needs-based program, it has income guidelines that must be followed. Thus, many seniors must spend down their assets in order to meet Medicaid income guidelines. If you find yourself in this position, here are some tips regarding elder care law and how to spend down your assets to qualify for Medicaid.
Not All Assets Must be Spent or Sold
To qualify for Medicaid, a person is not required to spend or sell all of their assets. In fact, many assets, which are referred to as non-countable assets, may be kept in one\’s possession. The most common of these include a home, car, furnishings, prepaid funeral plans, and limited amounts of cash, which can be as much as $3,000 for a couple.
What are Considered Acceptable Expenses?
When spending down your assets to qualify for Medicaid, federal law states there are numerous expenses that are considered legitimate expenses. These can include making payments on a car, home, credit cards, and medical bills. Along with these, utility payments, home and auto maintenance costs, and caregiver expenses are also acceptable expenses. In addition to these acceptable payments, a senior may also use their money to purchase a new home or car, so long as they will be living in the home or they or their spouse be the drivers of the new vehicle.
In certain situations, a senior may be allowed to transfer certain assets, such as a home, to their child if the child is also their primary caregiver. However, since estate law varies from state to state, it\’s best to consult with lawyers who specialize in elder care law to help with these matters.