In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses how using income rules effectively can help a spouse in the nursing home get on Medicaid.
Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!
I want to talk to you today about something that affects, pretty much, any married couple in a situation in which one spouse is in a nursing home and you’re considering eligibility for Medicaid. That is the question of how Medicaid treats income in the context of a married couple.
Let’s start from the fact that the spouse who is not in the nursing home gets a monthly income allowance, right now, as of 2021, $2739 a month in Illinois, and it can vary to something less than that, to something more than that in Missouri. And, so if that spouse doesn’t have as much income as their allowance, the rules allow income of the spouse in the nursing home that would otherwise have to be paid toward the nursing home bill to be diverted to that spouse, but htat’s only part of it.
The rules also deal with what happens if that spouse who is not in the nursing home has more income than the allowance. And, let me tell you, that winds up being one of our best planning opportunities. We can convert assets that the couple couldn’t keep, because they’re in excess of their allowances, into income for the spouse who’s not in the nursing home. Under circumstances in which that spouse can keep, in many cases, close to all of that income.
So, that’s why I say a married couple, within reason, if they’re assets are even quite a bit above the Medicaid asset allowances, we can generally get that spouse who’s in the nursing home on Medicaid right away by using those income rules effectively. Thanks!
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.