Spending Down Assets to Qualify for Medicaid
In order to be eligible for Maryland Medical Assistance (Medicaid), applicants must have no more than $2,500 in “countable” assets (the dollar figure may be slightly more, 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 spouse’s resource allowance.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. His law practice includes wills, powers of attorneys, trusts, asset protection and Medicaid.