What do I need to apply for Medicaid?

1 answer | Last updated: Dec 20, 2010
Sal asked...

I was appointed plenary guardian of the estate and person of my mother. I had to spend down her finances so that she could receive Medicaid. Currently she has less that $5000 in her checking account. What other than the final report of guardian of the estate do I need to file, report, handle?

Expert Answers

To apply for Medicaid for your mother, you have to provide records of your mother's income and assets (if the final guardian report is not very recent, you might have to update it for Medicaid). Certain portions of your mother's income isn't counted in determining her Medicaid eligibility, nor would her home be counted as an asset if she still lives in it. You can find the specific Medicaid income and asset limits for your parents' state online at the Medicaid/Medicare section of GovBenefits.gov.

As you've mentioned, you can "spend down" her assets to Medicaid levels if she has more assets than Medicaid allows. Also, if she has substantial medical bills, her state Medicaid program might subtract those bills from the amount of your mother's assets in determining her eligibility. These Medicaid spend-down rules vary from state to state.

If your mother is applying for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, the rules are stricter. In that case, you must provide records of any substantial financial transaction involving her income or assets during the previous 5 years. That's because her Medicaid nursing home coverage might be delayed if any of her assets were transferred out of her name, during that time, for less than full value.