Part of getting older is realizing that you may not be able to look after your own needs as well as you had before. For many Americans this means transitioning into a nursing home or assisted living environment. However, the cost of assisted living and extended care facilities is often significant, prompting many people to wonder how they will be able to pay. Though private pay options are available, the jointly funded state and federal Medicaid program can pay for your extended care costs in many situations. However, many people don’t know much about Medicaid and there are any number of popular misconceptions floating around. Let’s take a look at a pair of these.
Misperception 1: If I use Medicaid my spouse and I will have to sell everything
While it’s true that Medicaid is designed primarily for the poor, that doesn’t mean that you will have to rid yourself of all your possessions in order to join the program. Medicaid allows you to keep your home, a personal vehicle, as well as up to $2,000 in personal assets. It also allows a Medicaid recipient’s spouse to retain about $113,000 of assets, though this amount changes from year to year.
Misperception 2: I can give gifts to my children to qualify for Medicaid.
When people hear about the asset limit associated with Medicaid, they often think that they can give their assets away to their children and still qualify for the program. This isn’t true. Medicaid will look at the gifts you’ve given over the previous five years when determining your eligibility. If those gifts exceed the asset limit you will not be able to qualify.