How Does a Medicaid Spend Down Work?

For a senior to claim Medicaid long term care, they must meet several eligibility requirements which includes a need for care with limited income and assets. The various limits differ according to states as well as your marital status. But there is still a way to qualify for Medicaid despite not meeting the income/asset requirements. This program is called the Medicaid “spend down.” There are two types of spend downs:

Income Spend-Down

If your household monthly income exceeds the Medicaid eligibility requirements, you can still qualify via income spend down. That means that the monthly “excess” income can be “spent down” on medical bills (things like prescription drugs, visits to the doctor, health insurance premiums, etc.) Another way of doing things is to convert the “extra” income into a QIT (Qualified Income Trust). The money paid into the trust then goes directly to the elderly individual’s care and medical expenses.

Asset Spend-Down

If your assets exceed the Medicaid eligibility requirements, you can still qualify via asset spend down. Please note that assets are also referred to as “resources” and not all are countable (i.e. your home and vehicle). Now you will have to “spend-down” your assets by spending money on a wheelchair ramp or a downstairs bathroom. This way Medicaid becomes possible.

Contact Us

For more questions and guidance on Medicaid spend downs, Washington elder law, and estate planning, please call (509) 447-3242 or visit our website to see how we can help.

Written by ELTC Law Group

ELTC Law Group

We have been in business since 2007, helping the elderly and their families with a wide range of different issues including estate planning, asset preservation, long-term care, and post-death issues.