Our families frequently ask how much money the spouse of a Medicaid recipient can keep for their own living expenses or assisted living care. The CMS recently released the new 2020 guidelines. The ”community” spouse of a Medicaid recipient living in a nursing home may keep up to $128,640 without affecting Medicaid eligibility of the spouse who is receiving the long term Medicaid care. There are exceptions to this rule, but that requires a hearing or court order. States are allowed to set a lower maximum, but it must be at least $25,728.
If the community spouse can’t live on their own income, they are allowed to take up to $3216 of the institutionalized spouse’s income. This is called the MMMNA. The community spouse can keep all of their own income even if it exceeds the MMMNA.
Principal residence’s with equity up to $595.000 will not be counted on Medicaid applications. States have the option of raising this to $893.000
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