Medicaid eligibility and spouses' assets. Any advice?

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My Dad currently pays about $200/mo in Medicare, but, at current rates of income and spending, will run out of money in about a year. Stepmom, meanwhile, recently sold her house for $600K. Am I correct in thinking that they will look at both their assets in determining Medicaid eligibility. I was looking at the Massachusetts Health Connector site but couldn't find anything about Medicaid.

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Yes, Medicaid will add up the assets of both spouses, regardless of how titled (his, hers, or joint) and divide by two, attributing half the total to each spouse. However, the spouse at home cannot protect more than $119,220, with everything above that being attributed to the nursing home spouse. You may want to have a look at a couple the ebooks I've put together that get into all the details, here: http://medicaidsecrets.com/eBooks.html You can download them immediately and you will have authoritative answers to your questions. Good luck!
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Adam - in reading your other ? on AC regarding your parents, it seems that there is the worry that stepmom will be reluctant to part with any of her new found wealth from the sale of her home to enable caregivers or services for Dad at his home that they live in. That she may want to either enforce their prenupt or divorce your Dad. Is that right?

They are married and have just too much income for Medicaid to pay. Medicaid looks at all assets and all income of both. Plus if the home that they are in now is anywhere's like the 600K one she just sold, it may be that if it worth over 500K/750K that they will never qualify for Medicaid till the property is sold and spend-down done - you need to check to see what the home assessor value limit is for Medicaid in your state as one of your 1st things. If it is, then even thinking about Medicaid is moot.

You know for community spouse situations, there exists the probability to try to do some creative in advance of the Medicaid application with $ to get the NH needing spouse to qualify. The most simple is for the healthy & younger spouse to do a Medicaid compliant SPIA (and this tidbit coming from someone who hates, hates, hates annuities but in an emergency for younger spouse with kids SPIA is fab). But your stepmom is what…87 & not in tippy-top health herself, right? She isn't gonna outlive the SPIA & all goes to Medicaid.

They would need to be able to be on the same page of concern for each other to do that and she doesn't seem to be kum-ba-ya to sharing. I'd suggest that you schedule a visit to an NAELA certified elder law attorney for your in the very near future visit to see them. Write down as much info as you know and if you have the details on their prenupt that too. This initial visit you pay for too. You need to know just where for your Dad's state laws are for spousal responsibility &/or refusal and what Medicaid is like for those situations. This could get ugly.
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Go to a eldercare attorney. They know how to "play the system"!
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I discovered a fantastic resource for answers on, Medicare Options, Other Benefits, Social Security, Disability, Medicare & Mass Health information in Massachusetts.

SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) is funded by the Agency for Community Living and coordinated by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
in partnership with the Friends of The Milford Senior Center.
60 North Bow Street, Milford, MA 01757, USA
1-800-243-4636, option 3

shinema/masshealth.html
I am amazed at the quality of the information and their depth of knowledge
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igloo572: Yes, your assessment is correct. Dad's house is in an irrevocable trust (set up about 20 years ago), so I'm not sure it would be counted among his assets. My brother and I will be seeing them in August and will get a better handle on the situation, so, to quote Ahnold--"I'll be back."
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