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Medicaid planning considerations in Massachusetts

Planning for long-term care before you need it can improve your chances of Medicaid eligibility. As you approach retirement age, you may want to learn more about Massachusetts’ income and eligibility limits for the state’s Medicaid program, known as MassHealth.

Review these common long-term care planning considerations for older adults.

Income limits

MassHealth reviews income to see whether applicants can afford to pay for long-term care. Residents must have an income below $1,063 per month, or below $1,437 a month if both you and your spouse need nursing home care. After entering long-term care, each resident can retain $72.80 as a personal needs allowance.

If one spouse does not need to enter a long-term care facility, he or she can retain $2,155 in income. This limit will increase as of July 2021. When he or she has significant living expenses, the state may approve an income limit of $3,216 per month.

Asset limits

The person who needs long-term care must have no more than $2,000 in assets. The maximum limit increases to $3,000 if you and your spouse apply for MassHealth coverage together. The state does not count burial trusts, vehicles, furniture and personal belongings toward this asset limit.

If one spouse will stay in the primary home, he or she can currently keep up to $893,000 in home equity. This person can also retain up to $128,640 in joint assets without affecting his or her spouse’s MassHealth eligibility.

Careful Medicaid planning can help families make sure they will have long-term care coverage when they need it.

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