In applying for Medicaid benefits, you must meet certain asset restrictions in order to qualify. Fortunately, not all assets are counted towards the asset limit. Assets counted by Medicaid are:
- Checking or savings accounts.
- Credit union shares and draft accounts.
- Certificates of deposit.
- U.S. savings bonds.
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA).
- Patient accounts at nursing homes.
- Prepaid funeral contracts that can be canceled.
- Trusts, depending on the terms.
- Real estate other than your home.
- More than one car.
- Boats or recreational vehicles.
- Stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
- Land contracts or mortgages held on real estate sold.
Assets that the Department of Human Services (DHS) does not count towards your asset limit are:
- Your primary residence.
- Personal belongings and household items.
- One car.
- Burial spaces and related items for your immediate family.
- Up to $1,500 set aside as a burial fund for you or your spouse.
- Irrevocable prepaid funeral contract.
- Value of life insurance if total face value of all policies is less than $1,500.
- Assets that you do not have the legal right to dispose of.
- Assets that your or your spouse have not been able to sell. The asset must have been on the market for at least three months. I cannot be listed for more than fair market value and you must accept any reasonable offers. The asset must remain on the market as long as you receive Medicaid benefits.
What about joint accounts?
The DHS the entire amount yours unless you can provide proof that the asset belongs to another person. This rule applies to cash assets such as checking and savings accounts, credit union shares and draft accounts, certificates of deposit and U.S. savings bonds.
The asset rules for Medicaid are obviously very complicated. Whether an asset is counted or not may change based on circumstance such as the wording of a trust. Before applying for Medicaid benefits it is important to meet with a qualified elder law attorney.