The Medicaid rules regarding cars, trucks and other vehicles are different for a married couple than they are for a single person. A single person is only allowed to have one vehicle in Illinois that is limited to $4500 in value (unless it is used or equipped for medical transportation), in Missouri without that particular limit. In the case of a married couple, however, the spouse who is not in the nursing home (community spouse) is also allowed to have a vehicle of any value, as long as it is reasonable.
So, within those rules, is there a possibility of protecting a third vehicle?
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, O’Fallon Illinois Elder Law attorney, presents another topic from the video series Married Couples and Medicaid and discusses how the Medicaid rules apply to married couples regarding cars, trucks and other vehicles.
Married Couples and Medicaid: Cars, Trucks and Other Vehicles
Hi, I am Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos on how the Medicaid rules apply in the case of a married couple. So, today let’s talk about cars, trucks and other vehicles.
First, the rules are different than in the case of a single person, who is only allowed to have one vehicle in Illinois limited to $4500 in value, unless it’s used or equipped for medical transportation, in Missouri without that particular limit. In the case of a married couple, though, the spouse who is not in the nursing home, who is known as the community spouse, is also allowed to have a vehicle of any value as long as it’s reasonable. So, a Cadillac is okay, a Maserati probably is not.
I’ve had couples that have had three or more vehicles. That seems particularly to be the case with farm couples who may each have a vehicle to drive and then a work truck that’s used on the farm.
So, the question is, within those rules is there a possibility of protecting a third vehicle? And the answer is that there is, although it involves a choice in some cases.
In addition to exempt assets, the vehicle per spouse, the spouse who is not in the nursing home gets to keep an additional amount of non-exempt assets. So, you can choose to keep a third vehicle as a non-exempt asset as long as you realize that that means you will be keeping less money or other financial assets. But, again in some cases that could be a good trade off.
So, as always these rules are complicated and not only that, there are a lot of tricks to successfully manipulating them. If you’re in that situation, please give us a call. We can help. Thanks.
For more information on Medicaid planning for married couples, visit these articles:
- Married Couples and Medicaid: Your Residence
- Married Couples and Medicaid: How Much Assets Can the Community Spouse Keep?
- Married Couples and Medicaid: What Happens if the “Well Spouse” Dies First?
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