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Medicaid Anti-Impoverishment Rule for Community Spouse …

By Robert Deschene, Esq., on July 6th, 2014

iStock_000016730895_SmallA client told me a very sad story the other day. I wish I could say it was the first time I d heard something like it.

Life Savings Gone

An elderly couple on the Cape. Husband goes into the nursing home two years ago, and wife continues to live in their home.

They do not seek the advice of an elder law attorney, assuming that they need to private-pay for the nursing home until they have no life savings left. By the time they do contact any attorney, they have run through almost all of their life savings.

Community Spouse doesn t need to go broke

What makes this story so sad is that it happens more often than it should. When an elderly spouse is institutionalized, the couple may not realize that they do not need to go through their life savings before Medicaid starts to pay for the nursing home.

Medicaid regulations recognize that the spouse who remains outside the nursing home needs to keep enough assets and income to live on. In Massachusetts, the spouse who lives outside the nursing home known as the community spouse is allowed to keep $117,240 in assets! The elderly couple did not know this, and so kept spending their assets until they were almost gone.

They also did not know that the community spouse gets to keep her income, and only her husband s income needs to go to pay for his nursing home care.

If her income is too low, she gets to keep some of her husband s income.

Please pass the word!

It is heartbreaking to hear these sad stories.

If you know of an elderly couple in this kind of situation, please let them know now about the minimum asset and income allowance for community spouses, before it is too late.

DLO helps families with special needs members plan for their future financial security, for Massachusetts residents (especially Plainville, Franklin,Norton, Easton, Seekonk, North Attleborough, Rehoboth, Mansfield, Sharon, Wrentham, Attleboro, Foxboro, Canton, and Taunton) residents, and Rhode Island residents (especially Pawtucket, Warwick, Cumberland, Providence, Lincoln, Woonsocket, and Cranston).

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