Good to Know
Married clients could lose one-half or more of their jointly owned countable assets when a spouse applies for Medicaid Long-Term Care insurance (LTCi). Countable assets1 include cash, publicly traded investments and other assets. Today, we’ll focus on creating the awareness needed to potentially avoid the loss of countable assets.
But first, let’s understand the key players in this drama:
Also referred to as the “healthy spouse,” this spouse can generally live independently without assistance.
This spouse applies for Medicaid LTCi to cover in-home or nursing home long-term care services.
A serious, if not devastating, financial mistake can occur when the applicant spouse applies to Medicaid for LTCi coverage. Spouses without awareness of community spouse protections could needlessly spend down over one-half of jointly owned countable assets. An example follows:
- Married clients should be especially cautious before spending down assets or allocating income from the applicant spouse.
- Always consult an experienced elder care specialist to plan Medicaid applications in advance.
1In many states, an applicant’s countable assets are limited to $2,000.
2Paying off debt is exempt from the Medicaid look-back penalty.
3Regulations vary significantly from state to state and exceptions apply.
4Refer to Medicaid’s Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance for more information.