Is Spend Down Necessary for Medicaid Eligibility?

I often receive calls from families who tell me that they believe they have to spend down a nursing home resident’s funds until the resident meets the eligibility criteria for Medicaid.  These families have done internet research and learned what the eligibility criteria is and assume that until their assets are completely depleted that they will not receive the Medicaid benefit.

However, knowing which assets count and how to restructure them so that eligibility is possible sooner is critical.  The eligibility criteria for married people are very different than the criteria for single people.  When working with married people, we always try to ensure that the Medicaid eligibility is structured to protect the well spouse from impoverishment.

I also hear from families that they have to spend down because of the five year look-back period.  The five year look back period applies to transfers of assets without adequate compensation.  If we are working with a family who has come to us early in the aging process, we may transfer assets to trust and wait out the ineligibility period.  However, if an applicant needs immediate eligibility, we are able to use different tools to obtain eligibility.

Give us a call so that we can help you preserve assets.

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