Medicaid is a critical healthcare benefit that provides financial assistance to individuals and families with limited incomes. However, to qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain income and asset limits. In some cases, individuals or families may need to spend down their assets to meet those requirements. The process of spending down assets can be complicated, stressful, and time-consuming. But with proper planning, you can avoid some of the challenges and set yourself up for success. Here are some considerations for planning ahead for Medicaid spend down.

Know the rules and requirements: Before you start spending down your assets, it’s essential to understand the rules and requirements for Medicaid eligibility in your state. Medicaid rules vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to research the requirements and regulations in your state. Typically, Medicaid can impose a five-year “look-back” period for asset transfers, which means that you may face penalties for transferring assets out of your name within five years of applying for Medicaid.

Make a plan: Once you know the rules, you can develop a plan to spend down your assets in a way that meets Medicaid requirements. Consider purchasing exempt assets such as a primary residence, vehicle, or certain types of personal property that do not count towards the asset limit. You can also use assets to pay off debts or credit cards, medical bills, or home repairs that you might otherwise have to pay for out-of-pocket.

Work with an elder law attorney: An elder law attorney can help you navigate the complicated process of Medicaid spend down. They can advise you on legal strategies for preserving assets, and help you make informed financial decisions. In addition, an elder law attorney can help you plan for estate and long-term care needs, including determining eligibility for Medicaid long-term care. If you would like a referral to a local elder law attorney please reach out to me at Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.