"Spending Down" to Medicaid: How to Spend Down to Medicaid

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Although I had been a financial planner and advisor for years, I had not had any personal or career experience with the Medicaid program. I had learned through reading and seminars that planning before acting is VERY important and that eligibility requirements vary from state to state. Those who specialize in this area, such as elder law attorneys, medical social workers, and state-employed case workers are your greatest resource to avoid delays and avoid creating periods of ineligibility requiring re-certification. They can keep you from running afoul of the more stringent divestiture rules, including a five-year look-back at transfers/gifts of assets, contained in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 passed by congress.
Source: agingcare.com

Medicaid Excess Income (“Spenddown” or “Surplus Income”) Program

People with disabilities who find it difficult to go into a DSS/Medicaid office have a right to fax in bills as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. In some districts, including New York City, anyone can fax in their bills. Ask your caseworker for a fax number and fax cover sheet, or for another procedure to accommodate your disability. The fax number in New York City is 917-639-0645. If you fax bills, you must include your name, case and CIN number, the amount of your excess income, and say which month(s) you want coverage. If you need help with producing your bills because of a disability, you can contact your local department of social services to see what reasonable accommodations can be made.
Source: ny.gov

Medicare.gov: the official U.S. government site for Medicare

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Source: medicare.gov

Safe Ways to Spend Down Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid

When you spend a lump sum of money on an annuity for your spouse, your spouse is guaranteed a fixed income for a certain number of years. (Your spouse’s income is not counted toward Medicaid eligibility.) This is a great way to spend down assets if you’re married. But in order for an annuity to work as a way to spend down resources, it must meet certain requirements; for example, the annuity must be nontransferable and your state’s Medicaid agency must be listed as the primary beneficiary after the death of your spouse. For more information, see our article on using annuities for Medicaid long-term care planning.
Source: nolo.com

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