Exempt Assets and Countable Assets: What Must Be Spent?

To qualify for Medicaid, applicants must pass some fairly strict tests on the amount of assets they can keep. To understand how Medicaid works, we first need to review what are known as exempt and non-exempt (or countable) assets. Exempt assets are those which Medicaid will not take into account (at least for the time being). In general, the following are the primary exempt assets: Home, no matter what its value. The home must be the principal place of residence. Estate Recovery can place a […]

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Medicaid Home-Based Services and the Alzheimer’s Patient

Robert, age 79, has Alzheimer’s. He and his wife, Mildred, age  81, are Kansas residents and have struggled with his disease for years. At first, the memory loss was subtle. He would forget where he put his keys. Later, he began having trouble with the checkbook. The family doctor said it was dementia. And it was moving slowly. But as it progressed, his condition worsened to the point where he not only forgot where he put his keys…but now when he sees his keys, he is not sure what […]

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Is an IRA Counted by Medicaid

Louise Williams has had a rough year. Her Husband, Tom, suffered a stroke in the early fall and since then she has been trying to keep her head above water, care for Tom and put in a full day’s work as a registered nurse and run the household. Not surprisingly, she is exhausted. To make matters worse, she has just learned from the doctor that her husband will need nursing home care. In talking with some co-workers, Louise was told that her 401(k) plan at […]

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Medicaid Myths Part 2

Medicaid myths cause too many of society’s most vulnerable citizens to make mistakes that can cost them thousands of dollars or cause them to spend every last dime of their life savings before seeking help with nursing home and medication costs. That’s why we’ve again chosen to write about the common Medicaid myths we hear in the community. “I have to give away everything I own before I can get Medicaid” All Medicaid recipients are able to keep some of their assets and still qualify for benefits. […]

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Medicaid Law Changes Enacted

On February 8, 2006, the Deficit Reduction Act of as 2005 was signed by President Bush, thus making major changes in the Medicaid eligibility rules. As with any major legislative initiative, the full ramifications of these changes won’t be known for several months. In the meantime, certain aspects of the bill are clear at this time. The first is that the Medicaid gifting or asset transfer rules have been changed so that the “lookback” period for all asset transfers is now 5 years. This includes […]

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