“Medicaid Eligibility”

By Elder Law attorney Rick Law. Founder and Managing partner at the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law.  Senior care and planning advocates in Aurora, IL, just off the Farnsworth exit of the I-88 tollway.

Medicaid eligibility is based on the applicant’s medical condition and assets and income. For example, to apply for Medicaid assistance to cover residential long-term-care costs, an individual must either live in a nursing home or have a medical need (such as Alzheimer’s) that requires nursing home care.

A medical assessment is necessary to establish medical eligibility in order to identify the long-term health-care needs.

It is also necessary to be a U.S. citizen or be lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. Individuals are required to live in the state where they apply for Medicaid and must intend to make that state their home.

Medicaid strictly limits the assets people may own while accepting benefits. While each state has its own limits and its own exempt assets, the following are generally exempt assets that do not count against the beneficiary:

  • the principal place of residence in certain situations
  • household and personal belongings
  • one car
  • burial plot/prepaid funeral plan
  • cash value of permanent life insurance policies up to $1,500
  • a small amount of cash (this varies from state to state, but typically a single Medicaid applicant may keep $2,000 while married couples who both require Medicaid may keep about $3,000)

All other assets are “countable assets” and count toward the state determined maximum. Countable assets are bank accounts, CDs, money market accounts, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, retirement accounts, pensions, second cars, second or vacation homes, and any other item that can be valued and turned into cash.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!


Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!

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“We would be lost without Law Elder Law! We walked in their doors over a year ago feeling lost and confused. With a father/father-in-law suffering from Alzheimer’s, we were overwhelmed by the Medicaid process, selling his home, protecting the assets he worked for his entire life, and finding him a memory-care facility that we could trust as his new home. 

Law Elder Law helped with all of it! From the minute we walked out of our first meeting, we knew we (and he) were in good hands. We could not have possibly navigated all that had to be done without their expertise.”

A.M., Client of Law Hesselbaum and Law Elder Law