Can My Parents Sell Their Home and Pay for Upgrades to Our Home Without Triggering Medicaid's Transfer Rules?
Both my elderly parents need extra help. We are going to sell their house and move them onto my property. We will need to bui...Read more
In order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,000 in "countable" assets (the figure may be somewhat higher in some states). Note that Medicaid is a state-run program, so the rules are somewhat different in each state, although there are federal guidelines.
The spouse of a nursing home resident--called the "community spouse" -- is limited to one half of the couple's joint assets up to $130,380 (in 2021) in "countable" assets. This figure changes each year to reflect inflation. Called the "community spouse resource allowance," this is the most that a state may allow a community spouse to retain without a hearing or a court order. The least that a state may allow a community spouse to retain is $26,076 (in 2021).
Example: If a couple has $100,000 in countable assets on the date the applicant enters a nursing home, he or she will be eligible for Medicaid once the couple's assets have been reduced to a combined figure of $52,000 -- $2,000 for the applicant and $50,000 for the community spouse.
Some states, however, are more generous toward the community spouse. In these states, the community spouse may keep up to $130,380 (in 2021), regardless of whether or not this represents half the couple's assets. For example, if the couple had $100,000 in countable assets on the "snapshot" date, the community spouse could keep the entire amount, instead of being limited to half. (For your state's thresholds, click on Find an Attorney, then your state, and then "Key Medicaid Information".)
All assets are counted against these limits unless the assets fall within the short list of "noncountable" assets. These include the following: