If my husband has to go into a nursing home, would it take his retirement plus his medicare????? That would leave me with nothing since I am not on any assistance. Are there provisions for spouses that remain in the home?
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Realize that most info you are likely to get or hear is all going to be for individuals - the whole 2K in assets & 2K income requirements. Forget that! You as the CS need to get every cent of his income and keep the maximum assets allowed for a CS as your state allows. the rules for CS are different and the key for you will be getting an elder law guy who does CS work. For CS there is the whole MMNA - Minimum Monthly Needs Allowance or CSRA - Community Spouse Resource Allowance $$ to deal with. I think of it as kinda like alimony for the nonNH spouse. And like alimony you want to get the max! The MMNA/CSRA seem to have a state by state formula of what the CS gets diverted from his NH co-pay to you. But your situation may need more of his funds (like you still have a mortgage or dependents) so having an attny go to bat and organize all this will be key. There was a poster on this site who's mom had their MMNA re-evaluated so that their dad's required by Medicaid co-pay of their income to the NH was $ 42.00. All the rest of his monthly income was diverted to his wife as she was a CS and had pretty significant housing & medical expenses of her own. The CS is NOT expected to themselves become impoverished; only the NH Medicaid spouse needs to.
You are going to be all focused on hubby's care and your son's stuff and you cannot just do it all. Nor should you. For a CS there are all sorts of issues you never thought about…..like most couples have each other as their beneficiary to their life insurance policies. Bad idea if 1 is on Medicaid because if you should predecease hubby, his getting the $ from the policy will disqualify him from Medicaid and possibly he may need to pay all the life insurance $ to the state for the care the state paid for to date. Stuff like that needs to be changed (like maybe the beneficiary is a trust in yours son's name that he gets totally at age 30); attny will provide you options on all this.
The atty will have FA or others you can work with if need be. & that understand how to structure stuff to your best advantage. Most states have the CS with a maximum of 114K in liquid assets and if you are somewhat over that you might be able to do a SPIA for the overage and not have to have hubby use it in spend-down. Personally I hate, hate, hate annuities as a investment strategy but often for spouse/NH situation, you as the CS just have to get say 40K moved and now to qualify your spouse for Medicaid so a SPIA can often do that in a single set of paperwork and totally ok for Medicaid as not his asset. Good luck & keep a sense of humor going in all this too.
If you have not already done so, you should begin looking into applying to Medicaid. You don't have to be destitute in order to qualify - as Mr. Heiser said, you are allowed to keep a certain portion of money, and your home and one car and a very small amount of money in savings.
There are ways that you can "pay down" to Medicaid and this requires some research. Do not just start giving money away to your children, because that is not considered appropriate. Contact your Area Agency on Aging for a referral to an elder law attorney to discuss options.
Medicare is just for him, not you. That's why we all have separate Medicare numbers. When death occurs ( and it will, dear), you can choose either his S.S. payout or yours, whichiever is greater, but not both. Stop looking for money now, and just take good care of him. Show some affection.
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