How Do I Qualify For Mediciad?
If you have no assets or money, then
Medicaid (“Medical Assistance”) will usually pay for your care. In the nursing
home setting, Medical Assistance covers room and board, pharmacy and
incidentals. Basically, Medical Assistance provides for your basic care, but
does not cover certain expenses like haircuts, beauty shop charges and
clothing. However, if you qualify for Medical Assistance, you can retain
seventy-one ($71) dollars per month from your income / social security to meet
any of these needs.
Medical Assistance planning is to offset
the concerns of seniors regarding the high cost of long term nursing care.
Generally, the purpose behind Medical Assistance planning is to make the
individual eligible for Medical Assistance, while preserving as much of the
individuals resources for the benefit of his or her loved ones. Medical
Assistance planning occurs in a pre-planned stage or in a crisis stage. The
pre-planning stage occurs when you are expected to enter a nursing home at
sometime in the future. Generally, pre-planning techniques include: long term
care insurance, gifting, and utilizing trusts. Medical Assistance crisis
planning occurs when you enter a nursing home without any planning, and you are
not expected to return home or to the community and you are paying the nursing
home out of your own pocket. Medical Assistance crisis planning is more common
because the majority of seniors are of the opinion that a nursing home stay
will never happen to them. When the nursing home stay becomes a reality, you or
your family, realizing the cost of nursing home care, will have to address the
To qualify for Medical Assistance, you
must be over sixty-five, or blind/disabled and have limited income and assets. If
you are a single person, the only assets that you can maintain (non-countable
assets) are basically, twenty-five hundred ($2500) dollars, some life insurance
and your burial plot. Every other asset is considered available to pay for the
nursing home costs (countable assets). Non-countable assets for a married
couple are some savings, your home, household goods, a motor vehicle, some life
insurance and burial plots. Savings accounts, checking accounts, 401K, pensions
and CD's, life insurance policies, in excess of the non countable allowances,
second homes, and other motor vehicles are all considered countable assets.
Therefore, if you have assets in excess of the resource limitation, you will
not qualify for medical assistance. Consequently, you must “spend-down” the
In lieu of giving all your money to the nursing home, you can
“spend-down” your assets, with some proper planning techniques such as:
purchasing prepaid funeral arrangements, paying off some debts, purchasing a
new car and making home improvements.