Shields & Boris

How Qualifying for Medicaid Impacts Your Assets

Medicaid, called Medical Assistance in Pennsylvania, has fairly strict rules about the amount of assets you can keep in order to qualify for the program.

To understand how this works, let’s review what as exempt and non-exempt (or countable) assets.

Exempt assets are those that do not affect your ability to qualify for Medicaid.

• Home, equity up to $500,000, adjusted for inflation. The home must be the primary place of residence. Nursing home residents may be required to show evidence that there is an “intent to return home.”
• Personal belongings and household goods.
• One car or truck.
• Income-producing real estate.
• Burial spaces and certain related items for applicant and spouse.
• Irrevocable prepaid funeral contract.
• Value of life insurance if face value is $1,500 or less.

All other assets are generally non-exempt and can count against you when you attempt to qualify for Medicaid. This includes all money, property and any item that can be valued and turned into cash.

• Cash, savings, and checking accounts, credit union share and draft accounts.
• Certificates of deposit.
• U.S. Savings Bonds.
• Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), Keogh plans (401K, 403B) of the institutionalized spouse.
• Prepaid funeral contracts that can be canceled.
• Trusts, depending on the terms of the Trust.
• Real estate, other than primary residency.
• More than one car.
• Boats or recreational vehicles.
• Stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.
• Land contracts or mortgages held on real estate sold.

While Medicaid rules can be complicated and tricky, most single person will qualify for Medicaid as long as he/she has only exempt assets plus a small amount of cash and/or money in the bank.

If you have further questions about whether or not your assets prevent you from qualifying for Medicaid, please contact our Pennsylvania Elder Law Offices of Shields and Boris.