Spending Down Assets to Qualify for Medicaid

In order to be eligible for Medicaid, applicants must have no more than $2,500 in countable assets (the dollar figure may vary, depending on the state). Applicants for Medicaid and their spouses may protect savings by spending them on non-countable assets. The following are examples of such expenditures:

  • prepaying funeral expenses
  • paying off a mortgage
  • making repairs to a home
  • replacing an old automobile
  • updating home furnishings
  • paying for more care at home
  • buying a new home

In the case of married couples, it is often important that any spend-down steps be taken only after the unhealthy spouse moves to a nursing home if this would affect the community spouses’s resource allowance.


David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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