Medicaid’s Spend Down – Don’t Get Caught Short

We had been working with Jeff to prepare for an eventual Medicaid application to be filed on his mother’s behalf.  Much of that work involved reviewing the 5 years of records, Medicaid’s look back period.  But we also needed to coordinate the spend down as we were nearing the target filing date.

We needed Mom’s assets to be at no more than $2000 at the end of the month.  But with a nursing home bill of $10,000 per month and income of $1500 each month, what we don’t want is for Mom to have, for example, $5000 left on the 31st of the month.  In that case, she won’t qualify for Medicaid but also won’t have enough to private pay an entire month either.

This is what most people don’t understand.  There isn’t always a smooth transition from private pay to Medicaid.  It often requires precise planning of how to spend down, especially when you get down to the last few thousand dollars.  You don’t want to get caught short.

So, how do we help Jeff and the nursing home avoid this dilemma?  After all, we don’t want the nursing home to look to Jeff to pay the balance if Mom can’t.  Next week I’ll share with you how we guided Jeff and kept everyone happy.

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