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Richard M. Barron

attorney at law


Helping your loved one

Get the nursing home care they deserve,

 while legally protecting your Family's assets.


Sample Issue


The Basics of Medicaid

"What You Can and Cannot Keep"


In order to understand Medicaid qualification, you first need to know how Medicaid treats your assets.

Basically, Medicaid breaks your assets down into two separate categories. The first are those assets which are

 exempt and the second are those assets which are non-exempt or countable.

Exempt assets are those which Medicaid will not take into account (at least for the time being). Generally the

 following assets are exempt:

*The Home, no matter its value. The home must be the principal place of residence. The nursing home resident

 may be required to show some “intent to return home,” even if this never actually takes place.

*Household and personal belongings, such as furniture, appliances, jewelry, and clothing.

*One Vehicle, there may be some limitation on value.

*Prepaid funeral plans and burial plots.

*Cash value life insurance policies, as long as the face value of these policies is countable.

Also, term life insurance is exempt.

*Cash not to exceed $2,000.00

*These are basically the assets which Medicaid will ignore, at least for now. Keep in mind, however, that the

 estate recovery unit may come back to recoup payments made to a Medicaid Recipient after the death of the

 recipient’s spouse if they are married.

All other assets which are not exempt (i.e. the one listed earlier) are countable. This includes checking accounts,

saving accounts,mutual funds, bonds, IRA’s, pensions, second cars, and so on. While there are some minor

 exceptions to these rules, for the most part, all money and property, as well as any item that can be valued and

 turned into cash is a countable asset, unless it is one of those listed earlier as exempt.

While the Medicaid rules themselves are complicated and somewhat tricky, for a single person it’s safe to say

 you will qualify for Medicaid so long as you have only exempt assets plus a small amount of cash not to exceed

 $2000.00, and your income is at or below $1692.00

For a married couple the community spouse (i.e. the one not needing nursing home care) can generally keep

 one-half of the assets up to a maximum of just under $95,000.00, and income not exceeding $1692.00. Of

 course, this does not mean there are not things which can be done to protect assets or reduce income beyond

 these levels. This issues of Elder & Disability Law Planning and Strategies is designed to review the basics in a

 way which a caseworker from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services would likely do so.

In other issues we have or will cover ways that a single person can often protect all of their assets.

Future issues will be dealing with related topics covering additional Medicaid planning strategies as well as

 nursing home selection and care issues.

In Service Training Available:

Richard M. Barron offers in-service training on topics related to:

*Division of Assets
*Medicaid Planning
*Powers of Attorney
*Other Elder Law Issues

Elder & Disability Law Planning & Strategies is published as a service of Richard M. Barron, Attorney At Law, 209 East Main Street,

 Whitesboro, Texas 76273. This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For

 specific questions, contact us or a qualified attorney.

Legal Disclaimer

This information has been provided for informational purposes only.  It does not constitute legal advice. 

The receipt of this information does not establish an attorney-client privilege.

Proper legal advice can only be given upon consideration of all the relevant facts and the law. 

Therefore, you should not act upon any information contained herein without seeking

appropriate legal counsel.

Richard M. Barron

Attorney at Law

209 E. Main Street

Whitesboro, Texas 76273

903-564-3663, 800-939-9093

Fax - 903-564-5562

e-mail - [email protected]