Current Medicaid Qualifications (2017)
The basic qualifications for Medicaid involve income and resources.
Currently, the maximum income of an applicant is $2,205 per month. Additionally, the applicant can only have financial accounts with a total value of no more than $4,000. If married, the financial accounts can total $120,900, but the applicant can only have ownership of $4,000 or less of that amount, with the rest in the name of the spouse.
Exempt assets include the home, principal of IRA, 2 automobiles, burial plots and burial funds, income-producing property that is producing at least 6% of equity value, whole life insurance policies that total $10,000 or less, term life insurance policies of any value, and household goods.
Our firm will review the situation of each family, develop a strategy to preserve assets and provide long-term care. Since each family is unique, one strategy never fits all.
Five-Year Look-Back Period
A transfer of assets which occurred five years or more before the date of application is not counted against qualification for Medicaid. A transfer within five years of the date of application does affect the time of qualification; a penalty period is given based on the value of the transfer and benefits will not begin until the end of that penalty period.
If there were transfers within the five years, our firm strives to obtain the quickest time of qualification. Some of the methods that can be used to reduce the length of the penalty period are:
(1) Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). This is a Medicaid-approved irrevocable trust that protects assets after the five-year look-back period.
(2) Half a Loaf Method. This is emergency planning where assets can be gifted to family members and the penalty period can be reduced by nearly half through “re-gifting” funds to the applicant.
(3) Spend Down. Medicaid allows spend down of assets by using funds for certain items such as home, travel, education, funeral expenses (up to $6,000), vehicle purchase and other matters which benefit the applicant and/or spouse.
(4) Medicaid Planning. Done in advance, this can save practically all of a family’s assets.
today to learn more about your options.