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About Medicaid

Department of Health and Human Services Medicaid is a government health program available to certain low-income individuals and families who meet the eligibility standards set by federal and state law. Rules vary by state, including the rules for counting your income and resources. There are special rules for those living in nursing homes and for disabled children living at home. Keep in mind that for a senior to qualify, low-income is just one metric, assets and resources, such as home ownership, are also tested against established thresholds.

Medicaid Overview

Income Qualification

Varies by state, typically $2,000.00 or less in assets. View Medicaid Financial Qualifications in Each State

Long-term Care Provided

Only in Nursing Home Facility in majority of states. A few states, such as Vermont, do offer an at-home care component.

Special Considerations

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 increased the “look back” for gifts and transfers of homes and financial assets from 3 to 5 years. You must document the reason for charitable gifts if you are planning on eventually reducing your assets and income to a low enough level to qualify for Medicaid care. It is suggested you contact an attorney who specializes in elder law or estate planning. You should also consider purchasing long-term care insurance and visit a local nursing home providing care to Medicaid clients before turning over the control of your long-term care choices to the government through asset reduction.

State Medicaid Programs

Visit to find your state’s Medicaid qualifications and contact information.

Note: All costs are for 2008