Because Medicaid is a need-based program, there are income and asset limits. People who were never financially needy often qualify for Medicaid through a process called a Medicaid spend down. When you spend down, you spend or give away assets prior to applying for Medicaid coverage.
If you spend down successfully, you will have very little left in your own name when you apply for Medicaid.
You do have to be aware of the five-year Medicaid look-back period when you are spending down. Your eligibility is delayed if you give away assets within five years of applying for Medicaid coverage.
There is a $2000 asset limit for a single person for a Medicaid applicant in most states. However, some of your assets are not considered to be countable.
Your home is not a countable asset, but there is an equity limit. We practice law in the state of Illinois. In our state, the equity limit is $543,000 in 2014, for a couple.
An applicant can maintain ownership of one vehicle that is used for transportation. Wedding rings, engagement rings, and heirloom jewelry are not countable, and you can maintain ownership of your household goods and personal effects.
An insurance policy valued at $1500 or less is allowed, and you can have up to $1500 set aside for cremation or burial expenses.
Rights of the Healthy Spouse
In many cases, one spouse will require long-term care while the other spouse is still capable of independent living. Under these circumstances, the healthy spouse is referred to as the community spouse.
The maximum Community Spouse Resource Allowance in the state of Illinois in 2014 is $117,240.
The healthy spouse may also be entitled to a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. This allows the community spouse to continue to utilize income that is due to the institutionalized spouse.
Under program rules, most of that income should be used to defray the long-term care costs, but this requirement is waived if the community spouse is relying on the income for support.
During the current calendar year, the Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance in Illinois is $2739.
Learn More About Medicaid Planning
If you would like to learn more about Medicaid planning, download our special report. This report will provide you with a great deal of detailed information, and it is being offered free of charge.
To obtain your copy of the report, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Geneseo IL Medicaid Planning.
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