Medicaid Spend Down
Usually the term “Medicaid Spend Down” is heard when discussing long term care plans for loved ones. Medicaid spend down is like an insurance deductible in some ways. One would use their family member’s assets to pay for care the asset level is reached to where they qualify for Medicaid.
The Federal government changed the rules concerning the spend down in February 2006. These changes are intended to prevent people from speeding up the process of receiving benefits by moving assets from the ownership of the one in need to another individual. Though this was passed there are still ways of preserving parts of assets. Speak to a Medicaid spenddown specialist for more information on how this would best be used for your needs. Not following these guidelines properly however, can result in Medicaid application being deferred.
Spend-down is the process of qualifying for Medicaid by disposing of assets. This does not include the automatic spending of money. In saying that, one could design a Medicaid/Asset protection plan, which would protect their assets for future use. Disposing of assets is not the same and “spending” them. For example, money is a countable asset for a medicaid spend-down, but a funeral is not. If you pay for the funeral, which will have to be done eventually, you didn’t waste your asset, you converted them.
An important fact to be mentioned is spend down does not necessarily mean spending assets on medical care and/or nursing facilities. These are used to buy needed items at a fair market value.
Getting the most advice possible is definitely recommended. There are attorneys who specialize in completing Medicaid applications and assisting with a spend down plan. Financial officers in nursing homes are usually a good source of information on medicaid spend down. Also, talk with a son or daughter of someone who has been involved in a spend down. These are all good sources of information.