Medicaid combines both spouses’ assets together in determining eligibility. The healthy or community spouse is allowed to keep a portion of the countable assets after the couple spends down for Medicaid eligibility. This division of assets is known as the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA) and the maximum amount in 2012 is $113,640. The minimum CSRA is currently $22,728.
The CSRA is calculated as follows: Medicaid considers all countable assets as of the “first moment of the first day of the month of the current period of institutionalization” of the Medicaid applicant (known as the “snapshot date”). This is typically going to be the first day of the month that the applicant entered a Medicaid certified nursing facility, an intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded, a licensed special hospital, or a psychiatric hospital.