Spend Down

Medicaid spend-down is the amount of resources the person or family (if married) must get rid of before the applicant reaches eligibility for benefits. Spend-down is a very important process. It's the path to Medicaid eligibility. People can spend-down in many ways—most often they'd prefer to make gifts rather than spend money on nursing home care. This is where our planning services can help protect and save money and resources.

Does Medicaid make me spend-down my retirement accounts?

Yes. Medicaid doesn't care if your retirement account is subject to tax or penalty. If you can use it for care, it's subject to spend-down.

Does Medicaid take my money?

No. This is a common misconception. Medicaid doesn’t take your money. Instead, they have a policy that expects you to pay for your own care. Medicaid doesn't send you an invoice or collect your property. Rather, it requires you to spend or transfer for your money until you reach the eligibility mark. Only then will it consider whether and how you qualify for benefits.

So who takes my money?

If you're spending down on nursing home care, the nursing home "earns" your money. Ideally, we find a way to keep your money and property within your family or for you. But if Medicaid were to have its preferred way, the nursing home would take your money. And then when you run out, Medicaid will pay for care.