Mute point.

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the whole question of my wife staying home, I just learned this,is that if she goes on medicade the state takes half of the house. I might be taking care of her for 5 more years.-And I have an elder care lawyer and he kept insisting that they can't touch the house. Also all of our investments are toast too! Back to a 3 room apartment!


Sounds like it is time to get a new Elder Law Attorney, as it sounds like the advise you are receiving is questionable.
O.K I was conned by this nursing women. If sounds to good to be true
Well we all know the rest of it. So my wife gets good care andi i visit my 93 old mother more-you want to talk about guilt!
Richie - honey you are in the "community spouse corundum" - really the whole Medicaid process for when 1 spouse needs a NH and the other doesn't is just so totally different. Most NH residents are widows or widowers and for them, Medicaid is pretty straightforward under 2K in income and 2K max in assets - basically impoverished. Still lots of documents needed but financially simpler.

But for CS you are NOT expected to impoverish yourself. Only your bride needs to be at the 2K/2K; but you as the CS can have up to 114K in liquid assets (in most states) a home and a car. The 114K can get goosed up too, like by doing a SPIA which if your healthy you could outlive. Also if you need any of her income to make ends meet, then you should get either MMNA (monthly maintenance needs allowance) or CSRA (community spouse resource allowance) - think of this as alimony for the NH set. The MMNA for Tx is at $ 2900 which is a lot of income to divert! If your expenses are such, that the vast majority of her income is needed by you to make ends meet, and the NH gets zero co-pay, then that's what it is. NH may not like only getting whatever the state reimburses them for Medicaid room & board rate, but for CS situations that happens often. There was a posted on this site, who's mom was in a NH but dad still at home and the copay to the NH for the mom was $ 35.00 a month as dad had high costs for home maintenance and high medication expenses so all but $ 35 of mom's SS check was diverted to him as his MMNA. Again you are not expected to become impoverished yourself for her to be able to go onto Medicaid.

Really CS is complicated and you are likely focused on dealing with your brides day to day and probably exhausted. You can't be the one to figure all this out - get a NAELA attorney to go over your situation. Especially as to how to deal with the house - what you are referring to is MERP / Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. How it works depends on your state laws - for most states the surviving spouse if living in the home gets an exclusion or an exemption from the recovery. But you have to file for it. All the states have exemptions and exclusions to MERP and should be on your state Medicaid website.

Also go over with your new NAELA attorney, your life insurance policy. Most couples have it such that you are each others beneficiary. Bad idea if you die first as the insurance $ will make her ineligible for Medicaid and who will deal with all this for her?!?! You need to get your beneficiary changed, comprende?

About the SPIA, now normally I just hate, hate, hate annuities, but if I had to get hubs qualified for Medicaid, I would put the excess investment $ into a Medicaid complaint SPIA in a heartbeat to get hubs qualified. Most CS outlive their NH spouse by a decade plus so likely to be totally good on the SPIannuity.

Finda a NAELA to review options with you. good luck
Also the NAELA will have a good experienced financial advisor that understands Medicaid compliance. This is very important to have.

Estate & elder financial planning tends to be about avoiding taxations and ownership issues upon death. Medicaid compliance planning is very different. The two don't necessarily dovetail.
Thankyou igloo572. My elder attorney didn't explain a lot of things to me. All the NH and AL places kept saying "everything gets split in half". Since I was under so much stress I really didn't understand anything so I was really behind the eight ball. Your post was very informative. Don't do anything in haste and talk to the "right people". I want to thank you again.
P.S. I printed it all out. Do I owe you anything?
Richie - yeah, light a St Jude candle & bury that St Joseph statue that I get out of my late mom's MERP morass successfully & without too much hair loss. LOL.

I would like to see a course in high school illustrating the process of late life sickness and dying. But when you are young you think you will be young forever.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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