Elder Law Attorneys Helping You Plan For The Future

Medicaid For The Middle Class

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2016 | Medicaid Planning

One of the biggest misconceptions about Medicaid is that it is only available to poor people. That is simply not true. Congress has changed Medicaid so that the program now benefits the middle class as well.

Many people are surprised to learn that they qualify for Medicaid even without having to spend-down assets or create a Miller trust. The key is understanding Medicaid’s complex eligibility rules as they relate to income and assets.

Income Eligibility

Under Medicaid rules, an applicant can still be eligible for nursing home Medicaid with an income of $2,199 per month or less. Even if the applicant’s monthly income exceeds that cap, a Miller trust may be able to resolve the issue.

Asset Eligibility

The asset caps for Medicaid applicants are $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. On the surface, these caps seem low. However, they must be taken with a grain of salt, because not everything is counted as an asset. For example, a home valued at up to $500,000 does not count as an asset for an individual. A home of any value does not count as an asset if one spouse continues to live in it. Furthermore, how assets are owned plays a role in whether or not they will apply to the asset cap.

Becoming Eligible For Medicaid

These matters must be approached carefully. Many people take steps on their own to become eligible. They attempt to gift assets. They try to maneuver income from pensions, retirement accounts and other sources. Ultimately, they end up becoming ineligible when, with skilled assistance from a knowledgeable lawyer, they may have been able to get Medicaid benefits. In serious cases, they may even be accused of Medicaid fraud.

At Wright Abshire, Attorneys, we understand the complex rules of Medicaid eligibility. In fact, we have written books on the topic. We can review your case and determine whether you qualify. We regularly help deliver Medicaid for the middle class.