November 22, 2017

What Assets Are Not Counted for Medicaid Planning?

What Assets Are Exempt in Determining Qualification for Medicaid?

The Medicaid program is primarily a federally funded (but state operated) entitlement system that provides payment for medical expenses on a needs basis. To qualify for Medicaid, you must demonstrate that you do not have sufficient assets to pay for your own care. When conducting the analysis to determine your eligibility, Medicaid will exempt or exclude certain property:

  • Your principal residence — You can claim up to $525,000 in the equity in your primary residence, even if you are in a nursing home, provided you can show an “intent to return.” You need not actually return, but must demonstrate a realistic intent to return home.
  • One vehicle (car or truck)
  • All personal belongings or household goods
  • The value of life insurance up to $1,500. Any cash value in an insurance policy that exceeds $1,500 is countable toward Medicaid
  • A burial fund of up to $1,500 for you and your spouse
  • The value of burial plots
  • The value of a prepaid funeral contract up to $7,000
  • Rental real estate

All remaining property is generally included in the calculation to determine your eligibility for Medicaid benefits. Specifically, this includes:

  • All financial accounts, such as bank, credit union and money market accounts, whether checking or savings
  • All cash
  • Most types of retirement accounts, including IRAs, as well as 401k or 403b accounts
  • Most types of investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit or savings bonds
  • Additional vehicles, as well as recreational vehicles, such as boats or motor homes
  • Rights to receipt under a land contract or mortgage
  • Your beneficiary interests in a trust (subject to the terms of the trust)
  • Nursing home accounts
  • Vacation homes, cottages or other non-principal residences
  • Prepaid funeral contracts that can be canceled

Contact Halligan & Keaton

We bring more than 60 years of combined legal experience to people in and around Media, Pennsylvania. Every new client receives a free initial consultation. To discuss your estate planning needs with an experienced lawyer, call our office at 610-566-6030 or contact us online. We will travel to your home, a long-term care facility or the hospital to meet with you.