What Assets Are Countable And Non-Countable For Medicaid Eligibility In Massachusetts?

At Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C., we understand that Medicaid eligibility in Massachusetts can be complex, especially when it comes to distinguishing between countable and non-countable assets. Our aim seeks to simplify this topic in an effort to make it more accessible to our clients. Here we will provide you with a brief overview of this process, focusing on the types of assets that affect Medicaid eligibility.

Countable vs. Non-Countable Assets

Medicaid eligibility is largely determined by the individual’s income and assets. In Massachusetts, like in many states, certain assets are counted towards the eligibility threshold, while others are exempt. Understanding which assets are which can significantly impact one’s eligibility and financial planning.

Countable Assets & What Are They?

Countable assets include most liquid assets and investments; that is assets that can easily be converted to cash without the value being significantly impacted. Examples include:

  • Cash, Savings, and Checking Accounts: These accounts are directly accessible funds are always countable and typically factored into Medicaid’s asset test.
  • Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds: Investments are considered available resources. Their value is assessed based on current market conditions when applying for Medicaid.
  • Additional Real Estate: Apart from your primary residence, any other real estate owned is countable. This includes vacation homes, rental properties, and any land not directly used for personal residence.
  • Other Vehicles: If you own more than one vehicle, additional vehicles may be considered countable assets. The first vehicle is typically exempt, but subsequent vehicles are assessed based on fair market value.

These assets are evaluated by Medicaid when determining an applicant’s eligibility, and exceeding the asset limit can disqualify an individual from receiving benefits.

Non-Countable Assets & Exclusions from the Rule

However, there exist assets that are not factored into the eligibility limit during the determination process, including:

  • Primary Residence: If the equity value is under a certain limit and the applicant intends to return home, this asset is exempt from consideration. This ensures that individuals can maintain their homes without compromising their eligibility.
  • Personal Belongings and Household Goods: Furniture, clothing, and other personal items are not countable. These essential items are considered necessities and do not impact Medicaid eligibility.
  • One Vehicle: One vehicle, regardless of value, as long as it is used for transportation, is exempt. This allows individuals to retain mobility and access to essential services.
  • Irrevocable Burial Trusts: Funds set aside for burial expenses, often within certain limits, are exempt. This provision helps families manage funeral expenses without affecting Medicaid qualifications.
  • Certain Life Insurance Policies: Policies with a face value under a specific amount are not counted. This exemption helps individuals retain life insurance as a tool for family security without jeopardizing their Medicaid eligibility.

Understanding the distinction between these assets can provide important insights into how to plan effectively for Medicaid eligibility.

Practical Advice for Asset Management in Massachusetts

The Medicaid rules require careful planning and foresight. Here are some feasible steps one could take if interested in preparing for Medicaid eligibility:

  • Evaluate Your Assets: Regularly review your financial situation to ensure your assets are aligned with Medicaid eligibility requirements.
  • Consider Asset Conversion: Converting countable assets into non-countable ones, like using excess cash to repair a primary residence, can be a beneficial strategy.
  • Legal Consultation: Consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who can provide personalized advice and strategies to safeguard assets while maintaining Medicaid eligibility.

How Casey Lundregan Burns Can Assist You

Understanding Medicaid eligibility and effectively managing your assets can be daunting tasks. At Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C., we are dedicated to providing our clients with clear and effective strategies to manage their assets and navigate complexities of Medicaid. Our approach ensures that your assets are protected and your eligibility for benefits is maximized.

To learn more about Medicaid planning and asset protection, contact Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C. today. We offer comprehensive guidance tailored to your unique situation, helping you prepare for the future with confidence. Schedule your case evaluation online, or contact us at (978) 878-3519.