Medicaid Eligibility – How do I know which assets to count?

As referenced our previous post, Medicaid 101 – What is it and who is eligible?, Medicaid applicants can have no more than $2,000 in available, non-exempt assets, which raises two questions: when are assets available, and which assets are exempt?

An asset is “available” if: (1) the asset can be sold, transferred, or disposed of by or on behalf of the applicant; (2) the applicant is entitled to receive the proceeds from the sale of the asset; (3) the applicant can legally use the proceeds to provide for his or her support and maintenance; and (4) the asset can be made available in less than 30 days.

Exempt assets, which are not subject to the $2,000.00 asset limit, include:

  • the applicant’s personal residence (up to $750,000 in equity), if he or she has a subjective intent to return to the residence, or his or her minor or disabled child or dependent relative resides in the home;
  • one (1) automobile of unlimited value, if the applicant uses it to travel to his or her medical appointments;
  • whole life insurance with face value of up to $1,500;
  • irrevocable burial trust worth up to $4,500; and
  • personal property and furnishings of “reasonable value.”

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.