How the Medicaid Spend Down Works

Older couple smiling at the camera

Planning for long term care is one of the most proactive steps you can take. Many don’t consider doing this because they don’t believe they’ll need long term care. However, it’s estimated that 70% of all Americans will need assistance through long term care in their lifetime.

A common misconception is that not everyone can qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is typically reserved for individuals with low income. However, by spending down assets, many who may have yet to be eligible for this assistance can now receive it.

Watch as Wisconsin estate planning and elder law attorney Dan Krause explains how a Medicaid spend down plan could be right for you.

Income Spend Down vs. Asset Spend Down

To help qualify for Medicaid, there are two spend down processes individuals and couples can utilize — income spend down and asset spend down.

With an income spend down, individuals and couples must ensure they do not receive a significant amount of income each month. For example, if someone receives $1,000 from social security every month, but the Medicaid limit is $600, then that $400 surplus must be spent elsewhere. This could be done by setting up monthly payments to pay off medical debt or other expenses.

With an asset spend down, individuals and couples must not have property worth more than a certain amount to qualify for Medicaid. The property isn’t just what someone has in their home, though. Counted assets include savings accounts, IRAs and 401Ks, and more. Frequently, houses and vehicles are not counted against someone except if it’s a second home, a second vehicle, or other luxury items.

Don’t Try to Qualify for Medicaid on Your Own

Even with these steps, not everyone may qualify for Medicaid. That’s why you should never try spending down on your own or give up hope for qualifying without talking to an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney.

The team at Krause Estate Planning will customize a plan to put you and your family’s needs first. Let our dedicated group of experts create a long term plan so you can continue living out your dreams. Reach out to us so we can start working together. We serve areas throughout Wisconsin, including Janesville, Madison, Middleton, Milwaukee, Oregon, Sun Prairie, Verona, and Waunakee.

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