Medicaid Series Part 4: What Assets Can Someone Keep & Still Be Medicaid Eligible?

This is one out of a multitude of questions that a family looking to apply for Medicaid (the type that pays for nursing home care, in-home care, or assisted living care) has when I first meet with them. Sorting through the various rules and implications of Medicaid eligibility is a big chore that starts with this important question.

The ability for a Medicaid applicant to keep their home and one vehicle are the top two that most everyone knows about. More people are also learning about irrevocable funeral contracts. The assets someone can keep are referred to as non-countable assets. In the Medicaid planning stages, it is important to first identify what types of assets a Medicaid applicant has. Then determine what assets are non-countable towards Medicaid eligibility. Then finally, looking at whether it would be appropriate to convert countable assets to non-countable assets.

I will explore the rules about a Medicaid applicant keeping a home in more detail in a later article. For now, let’s review what assets an applicant can keep and still get Medicaid benefits.

-their residence in which they have a legal ownership interest or right to
-parcels adjacent to their residence
-their vehicle (1)
-irrevocable funeral contract
-burial plots
-life insurance with no cash value
-life insurance with a face value that doesn’t exceed $1,500
-personal property such as household goods and belongings

The categories listed above cannot be taken as blanket exceptions. Each of these exceptions come along with detailed policy from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Policy on the value limits of non-countable assets, ownership rules, etc. Be sure to check for additional articles that discuss in detail the rules about keeping a home, keeping other non-countable assets, and income and countable asset eligibility.

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