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Planning for The Future with Medicaid as A Community Spouse

Butler Law Dec. 20, 2021

When you reside in South Carolina as a married couple, it can be challenging to get older. Eventually, you or your spouse may need to spend time in a nursing home offering full-time care. While you may have an abundant number of assets, staying in these facilities can be expensive. Protecting your financial well-being is essential, making it critical to plan for the future.

Medicaid Qualifications when Your Spouse Goes to A Nursing Home

If you or your spouse needs to go to a nursing home while you’re married, it can be expensive to cover the cost of long-term care, even if you have an abundance of funds. When you’re in this position, using Medicaid may be an answer. However, to be eligible, it requires the spouse of the nursing home resident, called a “community spouse,” to only have a portion of your joint assets, which are deemed as “countable.”

Community Spouse Guidelines

$130,380 is the most money a community spouse can have in assets in 2021 according to federal guidelines and fluctuates yearly due to inflation. This number of assets is also referred to as the “community spouse resource allowance.” The least amount a community spouse can retain is $26,076, depending on the state you reside.

Protecting Your Income Is Essential

Income counting towards Medicaid eligibility can include wages, Social Security benefits, pensions, and annuities. Medicaid usually doesn’t consider your home as part of your assets. Finding the exact figure in your state that a community spouse can retain is important. Taking this action must be done before either of you can live in a nursing home, which makes it essential to plan for the future with your estate.

Understanding the guidelines associated with the assets you can hold when you or your spouse requires long-term nursing home care is critical. Doing so allows you to follow the law and protect your assets.