The Medicaid program is relied upon by a significant percentage of seniors who require long-term care. This is because of the fact that Medicare will not pay for living assistance. If you need help with your activities of daily living, this is considered to be custodial care. Medicare will pay for convalescent care after surgery for as long as 100 days, but it will not pay for custodial care at all.
Medicaid Resource Limits
Medicaid is a health insurance program that is intended for people with very limited financial resources. To be able to qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care, you must stay within upper resource limits. The upper asset limit for countable assets is $2,000 for a single person.
Given the above, you would logically have some questions if you are married and your spouse needs long-term care.
The Healthy Spouse
If your spouse was to receive Medicaid benefits, you could retain your half of the shared countable assets up to a particular dollar limit. In 2014, this limit stands at $117,240.
The Medicaid program is jointly administered by the federal government along with each respective state government. This upper limit of $117,240 is the federally mandated maximum. Each state has some latitude regarding its own upper limit. The lowest amount that a state can allow the healthy or community spouse to retain in 2014 is $23,448.
There is also a maintenance needs allowance. Let’s say that you are relying on income from your spouse to maintain your standard of living. If he or she applies for Medicaid, you can potentially continue to receive a portion of his or her income. This would be your maintenance needs allowance.
The maximum maintenance needs allowance for 2014 is $2,931 per month. The minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance that a state can allow the healthy or community spouse to receive is $1,938.75 in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. The minimums are a bit higher in these states.
Under Medicaid guidelines, certain property that you own does not count when your assets are being evaluated. Your home is not considered to be a countable asset at first, though it could be targeted for recovery after you pass away.
There is an upper equity limit of $543,000 in 2014. Each individual state has the discretion to raise this limit to as much as $814,000.
However, if a healthy spouse is remaining in the home, there is no upper equity limit at all.
Free Report on Medicaid Planning
This has been a brief look at some important facts about the Medicaid program. If you would like to learn about Medicaid planning in detail, download our special report on the subject.
The report is available to our readers absolutely free of charge. To access this in-depth report, click the following link and follow the simple instructions: Medicaid Planning Report.
Parman & Easterday
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