Medicaid Asset Test Q&A

Here’s what happens to a lot of people: They don’t make a plan for how they will handle the high cost of living in a long term care facility, then when they end up needing long term care, they are told they must spend-down their life savings before turning to Medicaid for help.

Luckily, there is a better way. Whether you’re years from ever needing long term care or that time is coming faster than you expected, you have options that will allow you, through careful planning and organization, to qualify for Medicaid without having to spend-down everything you own. In today’s blog post, we’re answering some commonly asked questions about an important part of that planning process — the Medicaid asset test. 

Are all assets treated the same in the eyes of Medicaid?

No. Medicaid rules divide assets into two categories: exempt and available. Exempt assets do not count toward your asset limit, but available assets do. 

What is exempt in Wisconsin?

  • Your personal residence
  • Up to $2,000 in cash if you’re single or $3,000 per person for couples who both need long term care
  • Up to $128,640 if only one spouse needs long term care
  • One vehicle
  • Personal effects (such as your clothing, jewelry, and household furnishings
  • Cash surrender value of life insurance policies as long as the face value is less than $1,500
  • Burial assets

Is there a lookback period?

Yes. There is a lookback period of five years from the date you file an application for benefits.  If you divested assets during the five years prior to your application, the state will penalize you for making the divestment. 

When should I start planning?

The sooner you start planning for the high cost of aging, the better. It is never too early to get started. At Elder Advisor Law, we highly encourage people of all ages to start thinking about these matters. On the other hand, if you have found yourself in a crisis, we want you to know it is never too late to find solutions. You will be more limited in your options than you would have been if you started early, but a late plan is better than no plan!

Who can help?

If you have questions about the Medicaid asset test or if you are ready to start making a plan, contact Elder Advisors Law today. You can reach us at (844) 211-1392. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Elder Advisors Law

As Leaders in Estate Planning and Elder Law, we are passionate about helping families protect their hard-earned assets from the government, nursing homes, lawsuits or other predators.

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