Medicaid Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive Medicaid, a person who can demonstrate a medical need for long-term care must meet the financial requirements. Medicaid can fund nursing homes, assisted living or home care if the countable resources and income of an applicant do not exceed the modest resource and income limits. Countable revenues and resources are cash and other assets available for food and accommodation. Resources are amounts owned at the beginning of a month while receipts are received during the month. Because Medicaid has few exceptions, revenue that is not taxable income eg, social security contributions, gifts, security deposits, tax-exempt interest, and shared property is generally countable.

An unmarried person can qualify for Medicaid-funded long-term care by reducing countable resources to the applicable resource cap of up to a few thousand dollars. However, Medicaid planning is more complicated for married people because their shared countable resources are taken into account. A joint spouse’s pension (“CSRA”) is intended to protect the spouse from being impoverished at home, but in high-priced states such as New Jersey, Medicaid, which plans to save money, is essential to provide a spouse with a decent standard of living. While the CSRA cap will be adjusted for inflation, it will be $ 109,560 by the spring of 2011.

Because couples usually have to spend almost all of the countable resources beyond the CSRA before Medicaid will pay foster care fees, many people falsely believe that they need to lose everything else if a loved one needs long-term care. However, this only illustrates the risks involved in the implementation of limited knowledge. Since surplus countable resources do not have to be “spent” on long-term care alone, there are many tools to help families save assets.

Medicaid plans to protect savings can be found at

Despite widespread misunderstandings, Medicaid planning does not involve concealing assets, especially as a false Medicaid application is a heinous crime. Instead, they help clients save money by maximizing spouse income pensions and CSRA, turning excess countable resources into tax-free items, spending them fruitfully, and minimizing penalties as gifts are made.


Couples can sometimes raise a CSRA by borrowing (commercially or from loved ones), but the loan must be carefully timed and designed to be effective. Married Medicaid applicants may also receive resources other than uncountable expenses that benefit the spouse of the community. For example, it may be advantageous to upgrade or buy a home or vehicle for the spouse of the community.

Gifts are often a key element of Medicaid planning. While more can be saved by early gifting, Medicaid gift planning can be useful even after entering a nursing home despite the gift-look-back period of sixty-months. However, the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act has significantly changed the Medicaid planning landscape to impose severe penalties if the gifts are not delivered on time. Overpaying or applying for Medicaid too early after giving can unnecessarily trigger years of Medicaid disqualification. For the same reason, excessively small gifts can unnecessarily limit savings. No penalty results from qualifying gift for a disabled person or qualifying gift of a home to a foster child, but as with so many aspects of Medicaid planning, expert advice is essential because the technical options abound.