Did I just screw up my loved ones Medicaid eligibility? It may not be as bad as you think. Once an individual is approved for Medicaid, he or she will only be able to have $2,000 or less in countable assets in his or her name at the beginning of each month. (A Medicaid recipient who is married to someone who does not need long term care will have 90 days from the date of approval to transfer excess assets to the non-recipient spouse). When managing a Medicaid recipients countable assets, you should be aware of a few simple principles that will keep your loved one Medicaid eligibility and provide you some relief when thinking you made a mistake when you in fact did not.
Resource Principles to Know
- The combined balance of all accounts that are countable must not exceed $2,000 on the first day of the month in order for the Medicaid recipient to remain eligible. So, if the recipient has multiple countable bank accounts, the sum of these accounts must be less than $2,000 at the stroke of midnight on the first of the next month.
- The Medicaid recipient must be below the $2,000.00 resource limit at the stroke of midnight on the 1st of each month. Exceeding the account balance at other times during the month is fine as long as the account balance is below $2,000.00 by the stroke of midnight on the 1st of the next month.
- Payments of income for a subsequent month, but received a prior month, are deemed to be received after the 1st of the month. For example, if the Medicaid recipient’s Social Security January income is deposited on December 31, the FSSA will not count the December 31 deposit when determining the January 1st account balance.
- Checks written prior to the 1st of the month, but that have not cleared on the 1st of the month should be deducted from the account balance. The FSSA determines that the amount of checks that were written but had not cleared to not be part of the 1st of the month countable asset limit.
- Transfers between spouses are exempt. If the Medicaid recipient’s account is likely to exceed $2,000.00 as of the 1st of a month, the Medicaid recipient can transfer funds in excess of $2,000.00 to his or her spouse.
Following these simple principles will ensure that the Medicaid recipient does not lose Medicaid eligibility. The Stinson Law Firm has years of experience assisting families in managing the affairs of Medicaid recipients. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 317-622-8181 or www.stinsonelderlaw.com to review Medicaid eligibility for your loved one today.
Jeff is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, a distinction held by only a handful of lawyers in Indiana. For almost 20 years, he has focused on elder law, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans Affairs benefits planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and estate administration.