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Frequently Asked Questions: Elder Law

How do I qualify for Medicaid?

Medicaid divides your assets into countable and noncountable assets. Typically, your home, furniture, furnishings, clothing, jewelry, automobile, annuities that are making monthly payments, a prepaid funeral and a small burial account are not counted. There are, of course, detailed rules that apply to these categories, which would take too long in this format to set forth. Typically, the rest of your assets are counted. That is, bank accounts, CDs, IRAs, 401K, cash value in life insurance policies, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and annuities that are not currently making monthly payments, are counted as assets. An individual may keep $2,000 of countable assets. If that individual has a spouse, that spouse may keep an additional $119,220. If an unmarried individual has more than $2,000 in assets that are countable, or a couple has more than $121,220 in countable assets ($2,000 for the institutionalized spouse and $119,220 for the community spouse) then that person is ineligible to receive Medicaid, until the countable assets are spent down to the limit.

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