Do Medicaid Laws Differ When Spouses Reside in Different States?

Do Medicaid Laws Differ When Spouses Reside in Different States?

By Daniel A. Perry, Esq.

In the Greater Cincinnati area, it’s common for one spouse to reside in an Ohio nursing facility and the other spouse to live in Kentucky. You should know that different Medicaid laws can apply depending on where each spouse lives.

The difficult question is: what laws and rules apply?

Ohio and Kentucky Medicaid Laws

In Kentucky, when one spouse applies for Medicaid and one spouse remains at home (the community spouse), the asset and income limits can vary based on the type of care that the institutionalized spouse will be receiving.

For either institutional nursing home care or Medicaid Waivers / Home and Community Based Services:

Income limit: $2,349 per month for the Medicaid applicant

Asset limit: $2,000 per month for the applicant and $128,640 for the non-applicant

Medicaid Laws specific to Ohio

In Ohio, the income and asset limitations remain the same, but with a few stipulations.

For Medicaid Waivers or Home and Community Based Services, the applicant can only qualify for Medicaid if they require assistance with two Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). In this situation, if one spouse was applying for Medicaid while one spouse was not, the asset and income eligibility requirements would be the same for both the applicant and the non-applicant.

However, remember, that Medicaid is a federal program which is implemented by the states to assist in the costs of medical care for those who are over the age of 65, blind, or disabled. Therefore, it is always important to check your state Medicaid requirements when one spouse is applying for assistance and one spouse is not — especially if you will reside in separate states.

It is important to know that income and asset limitations only apply to your non-exempt assets. Certain assets such as a personal residence with up to $572,000 in equity, one car, pre-paid funeral and burial services, and $2,000 in extra assets do not count toward your asset limitation. Therefore, it is important to speak with an Estate and Elder Law attorney to determine if you are entitled to any Medicaid assistance for your love one’s long term care.

For more information

If you or a loved one are facing the aspect of paying for long-term care, you need to understand which government benefits are available.

If you have questions about Medicaid and long-term care in Ohio and Kentucky, please contact our office at (513) 241-0400, or use the contact form available on this website. Our Estate and Elder Law attorneys look forward to speaking with you!