Medicaid Planning
Medicaid planning is an important part of any estate planning process. There are four basic Medicaid eligibility requirements. A person applying must satisfy all four requirements in order to achieve eligibility.


1) Categorical Requirements – To achieve Medicaid eligibility, a person must:

  • Be at least 65 years of age, blind or disabled and be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be pregnant or have children under age six whose family income is at or below 133% of the Federal poverty level.
  • Be a child between ages six to 19 with family members up to 100% of the Federal poverty level.
  • Be an adult who takes care of children under age 18.
  • Receive supplement Social Security income.

2) Medical Necessity – To achieve eligibility for the Medicaid nursing home program, the applicant must have a medical need for licensed nursing care, and must meet the risk assessment criteria for nursing home placement. In many cases, the opinion of the applicant's doctor that the applicant needs to be in a nursing home or assisted living facility will be enough.

Income Eligibility – Under Medicaid rules, the applicant may not receive direct income of more than $1,911 per month (as of Jan. 1, 2008). If the applicant's monthly income exceeds the cap amount, then a Miller trust can usually solve the problem. Income eligibility is often a major stumbling block for Medicaid applicants.

Asset Eligibility – If one spouse is entering a nursing home, the asset cap for the institutionalized spouse is $2,000. If both spouses are entering a nursing home, the asset cap is $3,000. These asset caps are subject to many exceptions. Generally, a home valued at up to $500,000 does not count as an asset for an individual, nor does the spouses' home at any value if one spouse continues to live in the home.

Special Needs Trust

Related Articles
  1. Managing Wealth

    Medicaid and Nursing Homes: A Quick Guide to the Rules

    Medicaid can cover the costs of a long-term healthcare facility, if you qualify. But that's a big if.
  2. Retirement

    Top 5 Strategies To Pay For Elder Care

    The cost of a nursing home, assisted living facility or home care can be ruinous. Try these routes to help seniors qualify for Medicaid and pay the bills.
  3. Insurance

    Medicaid Vs. Long-Term Care Insurance

    These are not equal. Here's why you need to think twice before relying on the government-sponsored program.
  4. Insurance

    What's The Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid?

    One program is for the poor; the other is for the elderly. Learn which is which.
  5. Retirement

    How Medicaid Works After Retirement

    Reasons why, after you retire, you need to know how Medicaid works – and especially how it relates to Medicare.
  6. Financial Advisor

    How to Help a Client Qualify for Medicaid

    Figuring out Medicaid eligibility can be very complicated—here are some steps to help you assist clients with qualifying for the program.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Cost of Expanding Medicaid Exceeds Expectations

    The President’s healthcare laws aim to extend Medicaid to millions more Americans. But the cost of implementing it has grown faster than first projections.
  8. Managing Wealth

    Asset Protection Trusts: Help For Seniors

    How to use an irrevocable trust to qualify a senior for Medicaid and still preserve a portion of assets to support a spouse or other dependents.
  9. Insurance

    Medicaid Vs. Medicare

    Medicare and Medicaid only sound similar. Medicaid doesn't require being 65 or disabled to get benefits. Some low-income seniors can qualify for both.
  10. Financial Advisor

    Long-Term Care: How Medicaid Stacks Up

    Clients who think Medicaid is a good option for long-term care usually don't know the rules that come with the process of applying for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Depreciation Can Shield Taxes, Bolster Cash Flow

    Depreciation can be used as a tax-deductible expense to reduce tax costs, bolstering cash flow
  2. What schools did Warren Buffett attend on his way to getting his science and economics degrees?

    Learn how Warren Buffett became so successful through his attendance at multiple prestigious schools and his real-world experiences.
  3. How many attempts at each CFA exam is a candidate permitted?

    The CFA Institute allows an individual an unlimited amount of attempts at each examination.Although you can attempt the examination ...
  4. What's the average salary of a market research analyst?

    Learn about average stock market analyst salaries in the U.S. and different factors that affect salaries and overall levels ...
Trading Center