Eligibility is one of the many important aspects of retaining Medicaid coverage. The rules that govern Medicaid eligibility are complex and vary from state to state. Going through this myriad maze of rules and conditions can easily overwhelm the average person. While it may be easily to simply ignore the rules on Medicaid eligibility, doing so can bring about consequences, as falling outside of the eligibility criteria can result in someone being denied Medicaid coverage. Those who are married or are planning to marry may have concerns as to how their new marital status can affect their Medicaid eligibility. The brief explanation below will attempt to address those concerns.
How marriage affects eligibility
Along with age and income, spousal status is one of the conditions that can affect your eligibility for Medicaid. Being married affects your eligibility due to the fact that you must report income from all individuals living in the home. If you have a significant other with a higher income than your own, this can cause your income to be reported at a higher rate, since both incomes will be calculated together. This can possibly make it more difficult to qualify for Medicaid coverage.
How to maintain eligibility
If both the applicant and spouse’s income fall under the income limit for eligibility, then the applicant may still qualify for Medicaid benefits. In some states, an individual can follow the stated income limits for eligibility while the spouse can have unlimited income, provided that the spouse is not receiving benefits. Keep in mind that the rules governing Medicaid eligibility differ from state to state, so it is advisable that you and your spouse consult an expert regarding your state’s Medicaid eligibility statues.