What Is Medicaid Spend-Down?

Medicaid can be an incredibly confusing program. From seemingly contradictory eligibility requirements to a variety of federal and state requirements, just knowing where to begin can be hard for anyone.

In order to ensure your eligibility, it is a good idea to work with an experienced lawyer who understands the application process and can find ways to help make sure that you qualify. Medicaid spend-down is one of the measures that we are asked about frequently when people are trying to find a way to meet eligibility requirements, so it is a good idea to ask about this concept when you meet with our attorney.

Safe Harbor Wills & Trusts, with offices in Syracuse and Watertown, is a law firm dedicated to helping people protect their assets while preparing for the future. If you need help drafting a will, creating a trust, or applying for Medicaid, call us. We would be honored to assist you in every way that we can.

Medicaid Spend-Down Explained

In order to qualify for Medicaid, there are a number of eligibility requirements that one must meet, including limits on a person (or a couple’s) combined monthly earnings, and they must have a need for medical care. When you meet the other requirements, but your income is too high, that doesn’t mean that you won’t qualify.

Instead, you can start to spend some of that money to cover certain costs.

Which Assets Count Against Me? Which Don’t?

Countable assets include:

  • Cash
  • Money in checking and savings accounts
  • Any property that is not your primary home
  • Retirement accounts, 401(k)s, IRAs, CDs, bonds, stocks, mutual funds

Assets that don’t count against you include:

  • Your primary home
  • Your vehicle
  • Your personal effects — jewelry, appliances, personal items
  • Pre-paid burial/funeral plans
  • Some insurance policies

This is not a comprehensive list, and there are almost always exceptions to each of these kinds of income and assets, so make sure to have a thorough accounting of your assets and your incomes. That information will help your attorney find the best methods to help you create a spend-down.

How Do I Take Advantage Of Medicaid Spend-Down?

For Medicaid spend-down, you will be required to use some of your monthly income or assets to pay for insurance costs, prescriptions, medical bills, doctor appointments, and other qualified expenses. An attorney can help you determine the best ways to implement a monthly spend-down or a spend-down based on your assets.

Safe Harbor Wills & Trusts in Watertown and Syracuse is here to be a light in the darkness. We can help you understand and implement concepts like Medicaid spend-down, as well as other Medicaid and asset protection measures. Our firm focuses only on these kinds of legal matters which means that we have a deep understanding of the many options that are available to you.

Instead of hoping that everything will work out for you and your family, contact us today for help protecting everything you have worked for, while still being able to receive the healthcare that you are entitled to.