In past issues of Elder Law Today, we have explained how the Medicaid laws work for married couples when one spouse needs nursing home care. The Spousal Impoverishment Provisions make it clear that the Medicaid program does not intend to impoverish one spouse because the other spouse requires nursing home care. Much of this is based on the spend down of assets and what levels must be met before one qualifies.
The law states that for a married couple, the at-home spouse is entitled to keep a minimum amount of money with no spend down. The minimal spousal share effective January 1, 2018 is $24,720. In addition, the nursing home spouse may keep $2000. In other words, for a married couple for $24,720 (plus $2000 for the nursing home spouse), there will be no spend down. More