I need Medicaid spend down ideas for Mom. Anybody have suggestions?

Asked by

Smaller purchases between 20 and 50 dollars.

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Expert Answer
156 helpful answers
You didn't mention where you and your Mom are on the elder care timeline. Is your Mom still at home, and you're seeking to qualify for Medicaid programs that keep people out of nursing homes? Is your Mom already in a facility, and you need to spend down before Medicaid will pay? Talk to an elder law attorney in your state who can analyze the situation for you.

You can set aside any excess assets in a pooled trust account for your Mom. Talk with an elder law attorney in your state, who is familiar with the Medicaid application. Funds deposited in a pooled trust account (also known as (d)(4)(C) trusts) can be used for any suitable purpose that assists the account beneficiary.
There is no need to spend down, if the Medicaid application is prepared properly.

The trust funds can be used to supplement care that staff in the nursing home are not able to provide, even after Medicaid starts paying for care.
Purchase a burial plot and pre pay the funeral expenses, including clergy donations and a mercy meal.
Lift recliner could be used at home or in a nursing facility, lightweight wheelchair for easy transport, motorized wheelchair, ramp for house, stairchair. I am sitting at home thinking of all the things my dad uses. Both my parents used lift recliners so I had 3 of them when I moved dad in with me. I have one in his bedroom, one in family room and one in enclosed sun porch. If I think of anything else, I'll write back. Funeral expenses as mentioned above would be the first purchase i would make.
I don't understand why people worry about spending down. When they r ready for a nursing home, you use the money they have till its gone. You apply for medicaid before money runs out. Yes, find out what medicare will allow to be paid for is wise. But just to get rid of money so medicaid will take over...
Why approach it this way? Seems like your making more work for yourself...

To me, what to do & how is very much interdependent on how much $$ we're talking about. 200k is a lot different than 20k; and if the elder is still living on their own (IL, with family, on their own) or in AL or abt to enter or already in a NH.

Whatever the scenario, I'd suggest that you get all their legal done or updated and they use their $ to do this as part of their spend down; and then get a clear picture of what their financial & health situation is. If they are imminent to go into a NH which costs $10,000.00 a month, then spending $ 23.67 at Target, then running to CVS for $ 34.78 then $43.21 at Walmart is kinda moot & a big waste of your energy & time.

So what's the backstory? You'll get good ideas from the folks on this forum if you provide details.

Get her hair done, buy snacks she likes
If you are talking about $20 - $30 per month (as you state in the question) I am going to assume its so you don't go over the $2,000 monthly asset limit because of the personal care need spend she receives each month. How about flowers for her room, or anything else she might enjoy? Something to make her room more comfortable for her visitors, say a nice chair to sit in, while a few hundred dollars, you'd have a few months to not worry about the $2,000 limit.
hire someone to come in to help care for her
I've met one family that is using their dad's excess money to pay out of pocket prescription costs as his meds are VERY high priced. That's an easy way to document too. Receipts are good and if receipts are lost, you can ask the pharmacy to print out the year's prescription - handy for income taxes too.
If your Mom is already in a Nursing or Memory Care Facility, continue to pay for her monthly care. It is a good idea to spend a little of her money on things that improve her quality of life. If she likes to get her hair or nails done, continue that. If there are specific clothing items she prefers, you can stock up on a few extra. For people who have large amounts of money and are trying to find a way to spend it to get on Medicaid, there is really no advantage to hurrying up the process. There are states that allow disabled persons to set up special needs trust accounts. That money can be used for things like the additional cost of a private room, ( Most Medicaid programs pay only for a shared room in a facility) Cable TV, Salon Services ( hair, nails, massage) Lunches out ect....
Good Luck

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support