Medicaid 101 – What is it and who is eligible?

Medicaid, also known as Medical Assistance (“MA”) or Title XIX, is a health insurance
program, jointly administered by the federal and state governments, for the benefit of certain elderly, blind, and disabled Wisconsin residents.

Because Medicaid is essentially a welfare program, eligibility is subject to strict income and asset limitations. Income limitations depend on whether the applicant is single or married, whether the applicant is “categorically needy” (is already eligible for Social Security Income), and whether the applicant is “medically needy” (resides in a nursing home where the cost of care exceeds his or her income).

The asset limitation, however, is the same for most Medicaid applicants: the applicant can have no more than $2,000 in available, non-exempt assets. Note, however, that if the applicant is married, his or her spouse is able to retain additional non-exempt assets. The topics of exempt vs. non-exempt assets, eligibility for married individuals, and other related issues will be covered in future blog posts.

If you have any questions on this subject, please contact Attorney Emily E. Ames at or (920) 393-1190.

Posted in Elder Law & Special Needs Planning.