According to the Ohio Department of Aging, the average monthly cost for a nursing home is $6327. This is a total of $75,924 per year. If you’re like most people, you don’t have an extra $76,000 just laying around. So how would you pay for care?
There are several options: 1. Out-of-Pocket, 2. Long-Term Care Insurance, 3. Medicare, 4. Aid and Attendance, and 5. Medicaid. In fact, the majority of people in nursing homes are receiving Medicaid benefits.
So how does Medicaid works for a married couple? There are a several important terms that you need to understand. “Community spouse” is the spouse who is not going into the facility. “Institutionalized spouse” is the spouse who is in the nursing home. Exempt assets are the home, one car and pre-paid burials. Countable assets are everything EXCEPT for the assets listed as exempt. It does not matter whether the assets were owned individually or jointly. “Community spouse resource allowance” is the amount of the countable assets the community spouse gets to keep. This amount is one-half of the countable assets up to a maximum of $119,220 with a minimum of $23,844.
How does this work in practice?
– Example 1: The couple has $300,000 of countable assets. The community spouse resource allowance would be $119,220.
– Example 2: The couple has $40,000 of countable assets. The community spouse resource allowance would be $23,844.
– Example 3: The couple has $100,000 of countable assets. The community spouse resource allowance would be $50,000.
Many people wrongly assume they can just give assets away to get to these resource allowance amounts. This is incorrect, because Medicaid penalizes you for transferring assets.
If you or a loved one are in a facility or entering a facility soon, consult with the Elder Law Attorneys at AlerStallings to ensure you are not creating a bigger issue for yourself.