Kemp Klein

Qualify a Spouse or Parent for Medicaid Paid Nursing Care


We have all heard that to qualify for Medicaid, an applicant needs to be below the poverty level. However, many seniors are living on limited funds, with just a small amount of savings or assets, but still cannot get Medicaid help. What’s worse, if one spouse requires nursing home care, the cost of private pay nursing home coverage can exceed $8,000 per month without Medicaid.

With careful planning and the assistance of a capable Elder Law attorney, a couple may preserve their savings to a great extent and still qualify one of them for Medicaid. The spouse who applies for Medicaid is called the “Applicant” and the spouse who will remain at home (or in the “community”) is referred to as the “Community Spouse.”

Prior to the Applicant applying for Medicaid coverage, the couple should have a “Solely for the Benefit Of” (SBO) Trust prepared for the Community Spouse. Then, the SBO Trust should be “funded” with all assets that exceed the community spouse resource allowance, which would otherwise be treated as “countable assets” for Medicaid purposes. *Note: Allowances vary depending on your level of assets.

The SBO Trust:

- preserves the couple’s assets,

- provides a portion of the savings for the “community spouse” to live on, and

- enables the other spouse to qualify for Medicaid coverage.

It is important to seek the advice and counsel of a Medicaid lawyer prior to making any decisions about long term nursing home care. Your life savings could depend upon it.

For further information regarding these matters, please contact Ms. Brazzil at 248 740 5667 or via email.