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When one on Medicaid has to seek nursing care, it is important to know the answer to the question how much money can a Medicaid spouse keep.

Overview of Medicaid

Medicaid is a health care program instituted by the federal government. It is run on state and government level with states programs having some slight variations. Medicaid is designed for those with low income and can cover the costs of emergency hospital visit, clinic visits, hospices, outpatient drugs, ambulance and nursing home stays. A popular question asked by couples on Medicaid is how much money can a Medicaid spouse keep when one spouse needs care?

How Much Money Can A Medicaid Spouse Keep?

When Medicaid pays for the care of one spouse in a nursing home, Medicaid allows for the other spouse who remains at home to keep a certain amount of money and asset. This spouse at home is referred to as the community spouse and the money they can keep varies slightly from state to state and increases from year to year. You may have to confirm with the state Medicaid office to know the exact figure you are entitled. Usually the spouse gets at least one half of the combined assets of both spouses as long as it is above the stipulated minimum and below the maximum amount allowed. The combined assets include both of their income, plus both their social security benefits and any other income. As of 2008, the minimum amount that a spouse can keep is $1,700 while the maximum amount is $2,600 per month.

How Much Assets Is The Spouse Keep?

In Medicaid terms, assets are referred to as resources. When a spouse has to leave the home to seek care the other spouse is allowed to keep the home and household goods as long as they continue to reside in the home. If the spouse leaves the home the home would have to be used to pay for the medical costs. If the house is sold, the spouse can keep between $21,000 and $104,000 depending on the state.