Many Americans will rely on Medicaid to pay for long-term care as senior citizens. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services you have a four in 10 chance of needing nursing home care eventually once you reach the age of 65.
10% of people who require such care are going to need it for at least five years. The average annual charge for a private room in a nursing home in 2012 was over $90,000, so this expense could be devastating if you had to pay out-of-pocket.
There are upper resource limits that you must stay within to qualify for Medicaid, but certain assets can be retained. Your home is among them, but there is an equity limit. This year the equity limit is $536,000, but each state has the right to raise this limit to as much is $802,000.
If your spouse were to enter a nursing home while you are still at home, you would be entitled to a minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance. The maximum allowance for 2013 is $2,898. What this means is that if you were not earning at least this much each month on your own you could draw from your spouse’s income to reach this figure.
Exactly how much you are allowed is at the discretion of each state, but in the lower 48 states it cannot be any lower than $1,891.25 this year.
The last change that we would like to highlight involves the healthy spouse’s retention of his or her share of community assets. If you enter a nursing home your spouse would be able to keep a maximum of $115,920, and the minimum is $23,184. Once again, the exact limit is something that each state can decide but it must stay within these two extremes.
To learn more about this important program for seniors we urge you to download our free report: Medicaid Planning Report