There may come a time where one spouse needs to file for Medicaid long-term care, but the other spouse does not. The spouse not needing long-term care Medicaid is known as the “community spouse” or “non-applicant spouse.” In cases like these, it is crucial to understand the financial rules and limitations this situation presents.
When one spouse applies for Medicaid long-term care, there are federal guidelines in place to
ensure the non-Medicaid spouse can financially sustain themselves. Typically, when someone applies for Medicaid, certain asset limitations must be adhered to. These asset requirements vary by state, but generally, a married elderly Medicaid applicant can have assets valued up to $2,000. If the applicant’s assets exceed that amount, they might not be eligible for long-term care through Medicaid.
Since a married couple’s assets are considered jointly owned, more of the assets can be
allocated to the spouse not applying for Medicaid- this is known as the community spouse resource allowance (CSRA). In other words, the community spouse resource allowance is the amount of the assets the non-applicant spouse is entitled to keep under state Medicaid guidelines.
The federal government sets the CSRA amounts. However, states can set their own limits as
long as they fall within the federal guidelines. As of 2021, the federal minimum resource allowance amount is $26,076, and the maximum allowed is $130,380. Generally, countable assets include liquid assets such as cash, stocks, bonds, and properties that are not the primary residence.
Understanding your Medicaid eligibility and whether your assets fall under the CSRA limits can
be complicated. It’s advisable to seek advice from a qualified Medicaid planner so you can avoid costly mistakes. At Senior Resource Planning, we take the guesswork out of Medicaid planning and partner with you to clarify your options and maximize your benefits. Ready to take the first step? Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.