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My step dad has exhausted his Medicare and Tricare benefits as a result of long term hospitalization. My Mom owned her home and property as well as other assets long before she met my step dad and they have always kept his assets as well as hers totally separate. Will Medicaid require that my Mom's assets be considered in his eligibility for Medicaid once his assets are depleted?

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All the couples assets are considered joint for LTC Medicaid but income is viewed separately. Anything that’s tied to either of their SS# will be part of his eligibility review.

However, Your mom would be considered a “community spouse” (CS) if she’s going to continue to live in her home and not herself be going into a LTC facility and applying for Medicaid herself. As a CS, Medicaid does not expect her to become impoverished per se in order for him to be eligible. But just how to do this and do it so that it’s compliant for how Medicaid runs for their state Medicaid LTC program will not be simple & imho never a DIY for couples Medicaid planning. It’s a complicated challenge and especially so if she owns property beyond a single home that they live in and has a homestead exemption (which it sounds like is the situation). They need to find a NAELA or CELA level of elder law attorney imho. This site has a list by state via links on the bottom of this page.

I’d suggest you have them get on meeting with an atty ASAP as LTC Medicaid applications for couples does a “snapshot” day to which all assets are affixed to. It’s usually the date the application is filed. So if there are things that need to shift / move & clear banking / filing / registration, it needs to happen way WAY before snapshot gets done. Realistically It may be that he will be private pay for a period of time.

Also if your mom is kinda right behind your step dad in herself needing care, the atty may approach planning differently. It would be good for you to take a reality check of what both her & his likely next few years may be. Yeah it’s hard to do, but will be important to do. Where he is now probably has a current needs assessment profile for him. If your mom is frail herself, she may need to get one done. The atty will have suggestions as to who to contact for this.

As an aside, where is his family in all this?
If he has children from prior marriages or siblings and your mom does actions that cuts him out of what she/you view as “hers” solo, you all may find a whole additional sh** show to deal with.
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debehahn May 29, 2019
Thank you !
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debehahn, this can become complex. I would highly recommend making an appointment with an Elder Law Attorney to help navigate the maze called Medicaid.
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Reply to freqflyer
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What is mom's is also stepdad's. Medicaid will not even consider prenuptial agreements. Check out this site for Medicaid. Very good information.

https://www.medicaidplanningassistance.org

But mom needs to see an elder law attorney that specializes in Medicaid.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Keeping finances separate doesn’t matter here because if one spouse applies for Medicaid, both spouses assets have to be disclosed. Medicaid doesn’t make a distinction between separate property.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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mmcmahon12000 May 30, 2019
That's right.
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Seek advise from a good elder law attorney.
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Reply to LuvingSon
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Caregiver2all Jun 1, 2019
agreed
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Yes...it is the total assets of the couple that Medicare counts.

depending on the state, the home they lived in together is exempt. A car is exempt. And somewhere between $90,000 and $120,000 is exempt,

the income however ever is considered separate. Unless the spouse that remains in the community does not have enough income of their own...then, about $2,000 monthly is allowed from the income of the spouse entering the NH....again, state dependent.
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Reply to Katiekate
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Yes. Because they are married, Medicaid will look at all assets. Please seek legal advice from an attorney who specializes in Medicaid.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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Judysai422 May 30, 2019
What if their assets are in separate trusts? Our elder law attorney in AZ set up my parents joint trust so that it would protect assets even if they needed Medicaid. Definitely worth a lawyer consult.
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You need to see an eldercare attorney because Medicaid has variations of law in every state. I am no attorney or expert but my understanding is that Medicaid considers "household income" and I have known people to have gotten DIVORCED just so they can get on Medicaid. I know a woman who married a man who was on Medicaid and once married he was taken off of because the household income was too high. I am assuming they both have income coming in.
https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/divorce-husband-eligible-for-Medicaid-153274.htm

If you are considering nursing home, know they are like roach motels where you check in and don't check out--that's why they get sued all the time. If she is able to care for him at home that's best..however..if not..good luck. Medicaid is complicated and even if he dies they will seek reimbursement known as estate recovery law.
https://www.elderlawanswers.com/medicaids-power-to-recoup-benefits-paid-estate-recovery-and-liens-12018

Sometimes in life the LESS you own the better off you are.
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mmcmahon12000 May 30, 2019
Not neccessarily Cetude. My Mom's NH is award winning in its ability to look after it's long term residents. They were recently given an award for the low percentage of falls that residents experienced and they also double as a skilled nursing facility. Quit assuming worst case scenario. Also in our state we have something known as a Lady Bird Deed which protects the house and one car from Medicaid's MERP. There are also exceptions to Medicaid's MERP program.
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I think Mom needs to see a lawyer that is versed in Medicaid. Every couple is different. If she owned assets before the marriage they may not count. The house is never part of the assets but Mom the only owner it may not have a lean put on it upon Dads passing.
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worriedinCali May 29, 2019
The assets still count even if mom aquired hers before the marriage. Even if there is a prenuptial agreement, all assets are considered joint.
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Lets forget about Mom owning the house.

The house is not considered an asset. Mom can remain in the house and have a car. When Dad passes, a lean maybe put on the house but it won't have to be satisfied until the house is sold or Mom leaves it. She is the Community Spouse and as such won't be made impoverished. Normally, assets are split, with Dads half having to be spent down. Lots more involved and really in Moms circumstance I think a lawyer is needed.
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