View Related Topics

What Are The Income Rules In Colorado On Medicaid?

Do you think you have too many assets to qualify for Medicaid assistance with nursing home costs? Think again.

At The Hughes Law Firm, P.C., in Denver, we help people just like you qualify for Medicaid benefits as well as provide assistance with many issues of elder law, VA benefits and estate planning. Let our lawyers help you understand how Colorado's Medicaid income rules work.

The Truth About Calculating Assets For Medicaid Eligibility

In Colorado, the general rule is that you are not eligible for Medicaid if you have more than $2,000 in countable assets, including investments and bank accounts. While this number may seem unrealistically low, it is important to remember that there are several assets you don't have to include when calculating your total countable assets.

There are a number of exemptions when applying for Medicaid. These exempt assets include:

  • Home: Your home is generally considered an exempt asset as long as it is your principal residence and your equity does not exceed $560,000.
  • Vehicle: You can also exempt one car if the car is used for employment, used to obtain medical treatment or is handicap-equipped.
  • Personal property: While personal property held specifically for investment ― such as some artwork ― may not be exempt, other personal property is, such as clothing, furniture, wedding rings and many appliances.
  • Life insurance: As long as the total face value of all of your life insurance policies does not exceed $1,500, the policies are exempt no matter the cash surrender value. However, if the face value does exceed $1,500, then the cash surrender value is considered countable.
  • Burial insurance: While revocable burial insurance is exempt up to $1,500, irrevocable burial insurance is always exempt regardless of its value. In addition, the value of your burial plot and grave markers may also be exempt.
  • Retirement accounts: Retirement accounts are a little more complex in that they may be considered countable assets. However, their value can be reduced if you incur taxes and other penalties when withdrawing funds.

Keep in mind that the income and asset rules above are merely a basic outline of how Medicaid asset limitations work, and they can change from year to year. At The Hughes Law Firm, P.C., we will help you understand your options, including:

  • Gifts
  • Annuities
  • Support for the stay-at-home spouse
  • Planning for long-term care

What If I Own Too Much?

If you own too much to qualify for Medicaid, you may be tempted to simply give your assets away to friends and loved ones. However, there are specific Medicaid rules that govern how and when you can gift your assets, and if you fail to follow these rules, you can face severe penalties.

But, don't fret. With proper Medicaid planning, you may be able to make yourself eligible for Medicaid sooner ― and preserve most of your assets for your family in the process.

Free Initial Consultation ~ No Obligation

To learn more, contact the experienced attorneys and legal professionals at The Hughes Law Firm. You get a free 20-minute phone consult to see if we can help. You can reach us online, or call us at 720-222-4905. The longer you wait to prepare, the more it may cost you, so contact us today. We have offices in Denver, Fort Collins and at a number of additional locations throughout Colorado.

Review additional information about Medicaid by going to our Medicaid guide.