How Much do we have to spend down to qualify for medicaid?

qualify for medicaid

Many of our clients have a loved one in the facility. It can be a significant cost for the care in the facility, so they’re a little nervous about what they call the spend down, and they’re hearing in the hallways that in order to gain eligibility, everything must be spent down to below 2000 total, and that can be the entire estate. For an individual, that is not necessarily true. There are attorneys out there, elder law attorneys, that know how to minimize the spend down. If we do have, we look to the family for that. So if we have a healthy spouse, we need to look there first because there are options to provide assets for the quality of life for the healthy spouse. If we don’t have a healthy spouse, meaning it’s an individual, then we look to the children because there were options to protect assets through the children.

But if we don’t have the children, then we have an individual. That’s when you hear of complete spend down. Unfortunately, that’s where that five years applies and other government penalty periods, it’s are monthly periods of time. What we do there is we do some gifting to trust strategies. It gets pretty complicated and you want to make sure that the attorney’s going to represent you through this type of an application. If you’re using those strategies, there’s certain irrevocable that we use, but for simple terms, if the attorney is competent in this area, they’re using the proper legal tools, they’re handling the application correctly, we can usually protect about two thirds or half of the estate no in the loss. So yes, complete spend down doesn’t have to occur. We look to the spouse, we look to the children, but even in the worst case scenario, we can generally protect about half of the estate.