Can my spouse get Medicaid help with nursing home care if I’m still healthy?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Medicaid Planning |

You and your spouse are a team who have raised children, bought homes and enjoyed life together. Now, your spouse is living with a debilitating long-term condition like Alzheimer’s disease, and you can no longer take care of them at home. They need to move into an assisted living facility.

The two of you conducted Medicaid planning in case of something like this. But now you find yourself in a situation where one spouse is still able to live independently and the other is not. Will the healthy spouse have to sell the house, car and other property to help their spouse qualify for Medicaid?

A financially possible arrangement

Fortunately, Medicaid law recognizes that these situations happen. And the rules generally allow the healthy spouse to remain in the home and hold onto at least some of their wealth outside of a trust. That’s because while Medicaid requires the recipient to own and earn assets below a certain maximum, there are exemptions for the primary home, an automobile, home furnishings and personal possessions. The spouse staying home is also allowed to keep up to $120,780 (as of the period of April 2023 to March 2024) in non-exempt assets. Finally, any income the spouse not applying for Medicaid assistance earns is not counted against the applying spouse’s income for qualification purposes.

Thus, Medicaid largely does not stand in the way of a married person applying for nursing home assistance while their spouse remains at home.

Medicaid planning can be a complex process, but an experienced attorney can guide you through it so that you can be assured you will be able to afford long-term care if needed someday.