If a married person is applying for Medicaid, can the healthy spouse keep any of the countable assets?
Yes, there are provisions for a healthy spouse that can still live independently. This person would be referred to as the “community spouse” for Medicaid terms.
First, there is no limit on home equity, and the independent spouse would be entitled to a Community Spouse Resource Allowance. This is equal to half of the shared assets that are considered to be countable, but there is a limit.
Once again, it is adjusted annually to account for inflation, but you can use a figure of around $130,000 as a general rule of thumb. There is also a minimum allowance that is about 20% of the maximum.
The Medicaid program will absorb almost all of the income that is brought in by a person that is using the program to pay for long-term care, but there is one exception. When a healthy spouse is relying on the income, they may be entitled to a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance.
This would allow the community spouse to continue to receive income that is earmarked for the institutionalized spouse.