As you get older, you may realize that you have many assets that may be threatened if you have to go into a nursing home or assisted-living facility. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, then you have to pay out of pocket or through your own private insurance for your care. Eventually, when your assets are drained, Medicaid can take over and pay for your medical needs.
Most people don’t want to see their assets depleted, because they’ve worked hard for them and want to pass them on to their loved ones. That is why Medicaid planning is so important for people in your situation.
Medicaid eligibility for nursing home coverage is based on your financial ability. The application asks about both your assets and your income. There are some assets that are exempted. These include assets such as:
- Burial life insurance with a value of $1,500 or less
- Wedding rings
- Personal items, like clothing
- Pre-paid burial and funeral expenses
- An automobile
- Term life insurance
- Your primary home if you live in it
- Some home equity
Your attorney can talk to you more about other assets that may be exempt and what you can do with the assets that are not.
Which households qualify for Medicaid in Nevada?
In Nevada, households that are at 138% of the federal poverty level may be able to qualify for Medicaid. For an individual, this works out to $16,753 in income. For a family of four, it’s $34,638. It’s important to understand that the federal poverty level is set by the United States government. The government uses this level to see which individuals or families are “in poverty” and need assistance through government benefits.
Planning for Medicaid helps you protect your assets from a spend down
Looking at this information, it’s easy to see that you can’t have many assets if you want to qualify for Medicaid. If you don’t want to go through a spend down, where you eliminate your assets or spend them down to the poverty limit for the state, then it’s important to talk to your attorney early about setting up irrevocable trusts and other methods of taking assets out of your possession while still protecting them. With the right long-term care planning, it’s possible to protect your assets for your beneficiaries while still being able to qualify for Medicaid if you have to enter into a nursing home in the future.