How can you pay for care when your assets are too high for Medicaid?

2 answers | Last updated: Apr 28, 2013
Natalia asked...

My brother-in-law is 58 yrs old and on Social Security because he is disabled. He retired early from work because of illness and has $40,000 from retirement. He doesn't qualify for Medicare because he just started receiving SS and has to wait 2 years. Because of the $40,000 he doesn't qualify for Medicaid. He is a very sick person and needs medical insurance. He has cardio-vascular desease and the money he has is nothing when he has to go to the hospital, which he does often. What can he do?

Expert Answers

There are a couple of different ways your brother-in-law may be able to qualify for Medicaid even though his assets are over the usual allowable limit. Depending on the rules of the state where he lives, he might qualify for Medicaid if he's considered "medically needy." More than half the states have this category. He could be medically needy if his current or expected medical expenses would force him to "spend down" his savings to below the regular Medicaid asset limit, even though his savings are now higher than the limit. To see if he would qualify as medically needy, he needs to bring records of all of his current and expected medical care, and the bills for them, to his local Medicaid application office.

Another way for him to qualify would be for him to shift his assets into forms that Medicaid doesn't count when determining eligibility. If he owns a house, he could use some of his savings to pay off or down the mortgage, or to make repairs or improvements to the house. Once the assets are invested in a house he lives in, Medicaid no longer counts them. The same is true of a car. If he bought a new or newer car, the value of the car would not be counted as an asset.

Community Answers

Noreen14224 answered...

Look for the Hillburton Act of 1946,every state has to have a hospital that participates It doesn`t cover doctors visits,but if you are sick & in need of medical care you may receive free medical care.