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Medicaid only gives, once you file, 60 days to spend down and find a nursing home. If not done within that time, you have to reapply. In my Moms case she paid two months private pay In the nursing home we found. She paid May and June and Medicaid kicked in July. I think they recommend you not filing until 2 or 3 months before the money runs out.
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Thanks.... good advice!
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Oh also Ed, I’d suggest you hold off on her application till you meet with an atty. The reason why is that for couples Medicaid the state does a “snapshot day” to which your joint finances are affixed. If you need to move funds about or do other things (like move from 2 cars to 1 car - as Medicaid allows for only 1 car), you really imo want to get this stuff moved & done before Medicaid application submitted. As it will lessen eligibility glitches.
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Ed - it’s only your wife who is in a facility, right? If so, then you are considered the “community spouse” (CS) for Medicaid and as a CS, Medicaid does NOT require you to become impoverished. Only your wife does in order for her to be eligible for Medicaid.

But just how to do that for couples is way way WAY more complicated and imo really needs an experienced elder law atty to come up with options as to how to do the spend down needed and perhaps also change your existing legal to sidestep future problems. It’s not a DIY. In general for most states a CS can have about 119k in non exempt assets. So you could have 119k like in savings or investments plus your home & a car are exempt assets. So 160 minus 119 could mean a 41k spend down, but how to spend down best is the sticky part... you do not just have to have it go to the NH to private pay for her care (although the NH may lean on you to do just that, lol!). It could be better to instead turn in your old car (or if your like most couples you all have 2 cars so you turn in both) and use part of the 40k to buy a newer & more dependable car. Or use some of the 40 to totally buy a preened funeral & burial for the both of you.

Please try to get with an atty. as it’s not a diy and besides you are probably overwhelmed with dealing with having her in a facility and can’t focus well on other things. Atty really needs to review your existing legal too. For most couples, they have their life insurance policy set up to have each other as the beneficiary. Bad bad idea for a CS cause if you should predecease her, that insurance $ will make her ineligible for Medicaid and what Then??? Your gone so whose gonna do for her and get her though another spend down? It’s stuff like this that makes couples planning for Medicaid not a DIY. Really find a NAELA or CELA level of elder law attorney and set up an appointment. It’s a totally legit use of spend down $.

Also atty can make sure that you get the maximum CSRA (community spouse resource allowance) should you need to. CSRA to me is kinda like alimony for the community spouse..... what it does is that instead of all her monthly being paid to the NH instead a part of it is waived to go to you instead to cover your living expenses should your own monthly income not be sufficient. Atty can make sure you maximize your CSRA ability as each state sets their CSRA amount. Remember you personally do NOT have to become impoverished; only your bride needs to in order for her to be eligible for Medicaid. Good luck in the process & please remember to take time for yourself.
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Ed see an elder law attorney there is an amount that you as the community spouse can keep.in addition to the home, car and other things. My mom was spending down about 700k. She passed before eligible for medicaid. 
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I may have to spend down $160,000. Wonder if I should just hold off on trying to apply for Medicaid.
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I believe it is around 2 k in assets but you can apply earlier. Qualifying expendatures can include funeral expenses. You can set aside funds similar to an insurance policy by visiting any funeral director. You can also hire an elder law attorney to help with the Medicade. If all of the assets are to be spent anyways and you want some peace of mind to get things right then consider this as a way to spend down. Saving funds for future out of pocket costs for a nursing home will only save a couple of months.
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