Medicaid is a means-based federal assistance program. Medicaid will pay for home care or nursing home care, while Medicare has major limits to covering either of those needs.
As a single person over the age of 65, you will not qualify for Medicaid if your assets exceed $13,800. For a two-person household, your assets must be under $20,100. If you are married, but your spouse executes a “Spousal Refusal,” your assets must be under $13,800.
HOWEVER, certain assets are exempt for Medicaid qualification purposes. They include the following:
- House (increased to maximum of $758,000 value as of 2011)
- Car (unlimited value – within reason)
- Contents of Household (unlimited value – within reason)
- IRAs as long as in pay-out status (i.e., Minimum Required Distribution taken yearly)
- Funeral/Burial Exemptions
- Prepaid funeral trust (no limit, but should not be overfunded as unused portion must be returned to Medicaid)
- Burial plot/vault exempt
- Burial account funded with no more than $1,500. Account must be separate and specifically designated as a burial allowance OR first $1,500 of cash value of an insurance policy is disregarded.
Caveat: Although these are exempt assets for determining eligibility, they may still be vulnerable to an estate claim by NY State unless further asset protection planning is performed.
To learn how you can utilize exempt assets to qualify immediately for Medicaid, contact attorney Moira Laidlaw at (914) 767-0646 or email Moira at firstname.lastname@example.org.