What is Meant by Countable and Non-Countable Assets for Purposes of Medicaid Eligibility?

Jan 28, 2019 12:54:00 PM



During the Elder Law Immersion Camp, we take a deep dive into elder law and get attendees up to speed on the legal-technical rules and strategies needed to become an accomplished and knowledgeable advocate for the elderly. We also cover practice building strategies to make sure your business is set up for success, as well as innovative marketing solutions to get clients walking through your door. 

One area we cover early in the program is exploring what is meant by countable and non‐countable assets for purposes of Medicaid eligibility, the rules as they relate to gifting, what exempt transfers are allowed, and how to calculate the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA) and Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) for married couples.

In this article, we will spotlight countable and non‐countable assets.

Countable resources are those “assets” attributed to either an individual or married person who is applying for Medicaid. It is defined at 42 USC §§ 1396p(g) and 1382b:

  • All income and resources of the individual and of the individual's spouse, including any income or resources which the individual or such individual's spouse is entitled to but does not receive
  • Translation: Everything counts, and you or your spouse can’t waive the right to income or assets you are entitled to.

Examples of Countable Resources

  • Checking accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • CDs
  • Cash (yes, even that which is under the pillow!)
  • Real property (other than the home)
  • Boats, RVs

During the event, we discuss these in more detail regarding joint accounts, IRAs and many other details regarding these countable resources.

Some assets are excluded assets and not counted towards Medicaid qualification. Depending if your client is single, married, or had a dependent with special needs in the home, the home may remain exempt.  Exemption may also depend on what the home equity limit is in their jurisdiction. If the applicant is single, they also need to have an intent to return home. Each state has different requirements on what that actually means. Other excluded assets include one automobile, household goods, and a prepaid burial space.

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