How Much Money Will You Need for Retirement?
The main goal before you retire is to make sure that you have enough money when you do retire so you can maintain your standa...Read more
In order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,000 in "countable" assets (the figure may be somewhat higher in some states). Note that Medicaid is a state-run program, so the rules are somewhat different in each state, although there are federal guidelines.
The spouse of a nursing home resident--called the "community spouse" -- is limited to one half of the couple's joint assets up to $137,400 (in 2022) in "countable" assets. This figure changes each year to reflect inflation. Called the "community spouse resource allowance," this is the most that a state may allow a community spouse to retain without a hearing or a court order. The least that a state may allow a community spouse to retain is $27,480 (in 2022).
Example: If a couple has $100,000 in countable assets on the date the applicant enters a nursing home, he or she will be eligible for Medicaid once the couple's assets have been reduced to a combined figure of $52,000 -- $2,000 for the applicant and $50,000 for the community spouse.
Some states, however, are more generous toward the community spouse. In these states, the community spouse may keep up to $137,400 (in 2022), regardless of whether or not this represents half the couple's assets. For example, if the couple had $100,000 in countable assets on the "snapshot" date, the community spouse could keep the entire amount, instead of being limited to half.
All assets are counted against these limits unless the assets fall within the short list of "noncountable" assets. These include the following:
Careful planning, whether in advance or in response to an unanticipated need for care, can help protect your estate while still meeting Medicaid's strict asset limits. To learn more, consult with your elder law attorney. To find an attorney near you, click here.
For information about how giving away your assets affects Medicaid, click here.
For information about how Medicaid treats income, click here.