Earning less than $2,742 per month is considered low-income for seniors in Arkansas who are trying to qualify for a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver. This government program is designed to cover the cost of care for seniors who are unable to pay for it themselves. If you are eligible, Medicaid pays for home health care, assisted living and other types of long-term care. Seniors can get services such as help with activities of daily living, environmental modifications, supervision, home-delivered meals and more. Below, learn about Medicaid requirements in Arkansas and find out how you can qualify if you’re over the limit.

Medicaid Income and Asset Limits

In Arkansas, earning less than $2,742 a month qualifies seniors for several Medicaid programs, including ARChoices in Homecare and the Self-Direction/Independent Choices program. To determine eligibility, Medicaid considers almost all types of income, including employment wages, SSI/SSDI benefits, IRA withdrawals, pensions and veterans’ benefits (Aid & Attendance excluded). Arkansas Medicaid also has an asset limit of $2,000, or $3,000 if both spouses are applying. If only one spouse is applying, the nonapplicant spouse can have assets up to $148,620. Countable assets include:

  • Bank accounts (savings, checking and credit union)
  • Cash
  • Pensions
  • Most real estate
  • Investments
  • Stocks and bonds

Certain assets are excluded from the limit. These include:

  • Your primary residence and vehicle
  • Personal belongings
  • Irrevocable burial plans
  • Life insurance policies with no cash surrender value
  • Household goods and furnishings

Qualifying if You’re Over the Limit

There are several ways to qualify for Medicaid if you earn too much or have assets over the limit. The Medically Needy Pathway allows seniors to qualify if they have spent the majority of their income on medical bills. Seniors who have assets over $2,000 can become eligible by spending down their assets to pay for things such as debt, home modifications and prepaid funeral expenses. Keep in mind that Medicaid will review your assets over a 5-year look-back period to make sure you didn’t sell them for less than market value or give them away to family or friends.

Another option is to put income into an irrevocable Qualified Income Trust (QIT). This money can only be accessed by a legal trustee and used for specific purposes, such as medical bills and long-term care costs. When the Medicaid recipient dies, the state receives any remaining funds as reimbursement for the cost of their care.