Effective January 1, 2016, the maximum Community Spouse Resource Allowance (“CSRA”) will remain the same as in 2015 — $119,200.00. The spouse that enters the nursing home is permitted to keep assets that do not exceed $14,850.00. The healthy spouse is allowed to retain assets (excluding the primary residence) that do not exceed the CSRA.
Example 1: Sheldon of Smithtown, NY has a bank account that totals $14,000.00. Shelly (Sheldon’s wife) owns assets totaling $100,000.00. The primary residence is in both Sheldon and Shelly’s names. Sheldon owns no other assets and has made no gifts within the last five years. He is financially eligible for Medicaid to pay for the costs of his stay in a Nursing Home; his assets are below the $14,850.00 resource limit and Shelly’s assets are less than the CSRA.
Example 2: Horace of Hauppauge, NY owns the following assets:
Pre-paid funeral trust $15,000.00
Bank accounts totaling $14,000.00
Henrietta, Horace’s wife, owns assets totaling $100,000.00. Horace is financially eligible for Medicaid to pay for the costs of his stay in a Nursing Home; his assets are below the $14,850.00 resource limit. One car and a pre-paid funeral trust do not count towards the $14,850.00 resource limit; they are exempt resources and Henrietta’s assets are less than the CSRA.
Example 3: Same facts as above, except Henrietta owns assets totaling $200,000.00. Horace will be denied Medicaid as Henrietta’s assets will count against Horace’s eligibility determination.
Example 4: Same facts as above, except Henrietta signs and timely files a statement in which she refuses to pay for the medical expenses of Horace (a “spousal refusal”). Medicaid will be approved as the Medicaid agency will determine eligibility for Horace without considering the assets of Henrietta.
To be continued ….
Aaron E. Futterman, CPA, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Futterman & Lanza, LLP with offices in Smithtown, NY and clients throughout Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Richmond, New York, Westchester and Rockland Counties. He concentrates his practice to Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Taxes, and Estate Administration.