Smaller Print Larger Print
800-336-4529 618-985-4529
Question and Answer about Medicaid planning for a married couple, one of whom was still working, and where the other spouse needed care in a nursing home. Must the income or assets of a working spouse (the “community spouse”) be used for the care of the spouse in the nursing home (the “institutionalized spouse”)? Divorce is one option, but should never be used without first consulting with an elder law attorney.

Life Care Planning, Estate Protection, Disability,
VA & Medicaid Assistance Lawyers

Paying for Institutionalized Spouse's Care


Blog Category:
6/7/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
Comments (0)

A very good friend and past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Craig Reaves, who practices in Kansas City, Missouri was recently interviewed by the New York Times.  He was aCraig Reaves, Past President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneyssked a question about Medicaid planning for a married couple, one of whom was still working, and where the other spouse needed care in a nursing home.
Craig responded, “There’s no simple, legal way to shelter your income or most of your wealth in this circumstance. Spouses have a legal duty to support each other. The income or assets of a working spouse (known in the Medicaid world as the “community spouse”) must be used for the care of the spouse in the nursing home (in official parlance, the “institutionalized spouse”).”
Craig then laid out three options: (1) change their investment mix, (2) work harder to generate extra income, (3) divorce in order to qualify for Medicaid.  While Craig’s general discussion of the process of qualifying for Medicaid in Missouri (and most other states) does not work in Illinois (because the Illinois Medicaid rules are very different than the Medicaid rules in Missouri and most other states), nonetheless his discussion can be helpful to those researching the topic of Medicaid qualification.  His discussion of divorce as one means of qualifying for Medicaid was heartfelt.
Craig ended with this very important advice: “Because this type of planning is complex, you should consult a local elder attorney to answer specific questions. I also warn against relying on what a Medicaid caseworker advises. These policies vary considerably by state, and it’s not a process you want to embark on without expert counsel.”

To read Craig's entire answer click here.



Category: Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection


There are no comments.

Post a comment

Post a Comment to "Paying for Institutionalized Spouse's Care"

To reply to this message, enter your reply in the box labeled "Message", hit "Post Message."

Name:*

Email:* (will not be published)

Message:*

Notify me of follow-up comments via email.