My husband is 61yrs old and has advanced Parkinson's. He's now living in a senior care facility. They plan to move him into the skilled nursing unit and are applying for Medicaid. I am 57 yrs old. No retirement built up (spent on medical bills for last 18 yrs). How much money can I make and have to live on and him qualify for Medicaid? We sold our house 8 yrs ago and have been renting. Car is paid for.

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Wow you both are still so young. For your situation, you are considered the "community spouse" and as such, you personally do NOT have to be impoverished. Only your hubby will need to be impoverished to be considered "at-Need" for Medicaid rules (for most states this is 2K in assets and 2K in monthly income). Each state runs Medicaid uniquely so you need to find out exactly what the CS can have and also how to apply or ask for a diversion of his income to enable you to continue to live in the "community".

CS situation are very different than for individual medicaid. Most articles you read are all about individual Medicaid, so keep that in mind when you find stuff. As a CS you need to get CSRA - Community Spouse Resource Allowance, this is also called MMNA - Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (yeah say that 3 time fast!) The exact amount depends on your exact "need". As Pam states it's between $ 1,939 - $ 2,931, but you have to apply and show need to get the diversion done.

How the diversion or CSRA comes to matter in a big way is for hubby's co-pay or "SOC" (share of cost in Medicaid speak) to the NH. Once he is on Medicaid, the rules require that all his monthly income be his co-pay to the NH except for a smallish personal needs allowance. (For example my mom gets about $ 1,800 a month income and therefore her SOC is $ 1,740 to be paid to the NH each month) The PNA runs between $ 35 - $ 90 a month and really is just enough to pay for barber shop, or his phone or cable costs at the facility. PNA has to be spent on him and most of the time the NH gets this directly and places it in a personal trust account @ the facility. You do NOT have to do it this way, for my mom, she gets her SS & retirement direct deposited into her checking account and then I write the NH a check for her SOC and her PNA stays in her checking account and builds up by $ 60 each month (she is in TX and it's a $ 60 PNA). I would go this route & don't let the facility tell you that it can't be done this way either……

Now if you need any of hubby's income to enable you to continue to live in the "community" you need to get his income rather than the NH. If his SS and retirement is low, then the NH may find that it gets NO co-pay or SOC at all as you qualify to get all his income as your CSRA. Understand?

Now the rules for CS situations are different than individuals in that Medicaid bases all your finances on a set point, this is often called the "snapshot" day. Your needs & his income & your income is fixed on this day. So if there is anything that needs to be done to perhaps make your situation better it needs to be done, cleared your bank account or paperwork done BEFORE the snapshot day.

For most couples, their insurance policy is a issue. Most couples have each other as beneficiary. Once one is on Medicaid, that is a very bad idea as you never want hubby to ever get any extra money as that would disqualify him from Medicaid. (Like something happens to you and you pass away and then he gets your life insurance policy situation). It's this sort of thing, that a good elder law attorney can guide you through. Personally, I think you should get all your financials, legal stuff and go see one to see just what needs to be done to properly put you in the situation to maximize your income. My dear, you are my age and really we could live to our 90's, so we need all the long-term income we can get starting sooner rather than later. Good luck & try to keep a sense of humor going!
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Medicaid asks you to spend down to less than $2000 in the bank. They also ask what your expenses are and you get an allowance as a community spouse.
That will be $1939 minimum and $2931 maximum per month (Tennessee 2014 rules)
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