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What is a Medicaid spend down?

The assisted living place my dad lives in will take medicaid but the social worker said I had to follow the spend down rules. She was called away on an emergency before I could get any information and what I've found on the internet seems very contradictory.
Status: Open    Jan 09, 2016 - 06:04 PM


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Expert Answers

Jan 19, 2016 - 10:58 AM

Medicaid spend down refers to reduction of assets so that your dad will pass the resource limit. I recommend consulting with an Elder Law Attorney because Medicaid is very complicated.

Jan 19, 2016 - 10:59 AM

In most states, the Medicaid appliant must have less than $2000 in order to qualify for Medicaid. A home, an auto, up to $10,000 in pre-paid funeral expenses and personal possessions are exempt from the spenddown amount.

If you mother has significant assets, you should contact an Elder Law Attorney to assist with an pre-planning measures. You could possibly save up to and possibly more than 1/2 of your mother's estate and still qualify for Medicaid.

Jan 19, 2016 - 12:50 PM

Medicaid spend down is basically the process of using your own assets to pay for care until you no longer have any assets and qualify for Medicaid. As a part of the spend down process, it is important to identify "exempt assets" in your state, which do not count for eligibility purposes. It is prudent to spend money on these exempt assets first. The prime example of an exempt asset would be a prepaid burial plan. Timing is very important when it comes to long-term care planning, so it would be worth consulting with a professional (and the fees you pay that professional would be part of the spend down as well).

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