Many people think of Medicaid as a program that provides very low income people with access to medical care, and this was the original intent of the program. However, the Kaiser Family Foundation states that seven out of every 10 seniors who are residing in nursing homes are using Medicaid to pay for their care.
The truth is that not all of these individuals are poverty-stricken.
Why can’t they just write out a check if they would not describe themselves as being poor? The fact is that long-term care is extraordinarily expensive, and the costs are rising each year. If you were to spend multiple years in a nursing home you could be looking at a bill in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There is a very low $1,500 upper resource limit in Indiana that one must stay within to qualify for Medicaid. The reason why so many people do qualify is because of the fact that all of your assets are not countable in a Medicaid eligibility context.
Your home is not going to be considered a countable asset, and this is a big part of why so many people can become eligible even if they are not indigent. There is however an upper equity limit of $525,000 that can be raised to $786,000 at the discretion of an individual state. (These are the 2012 parameters and they are subject to change.)
Another positive is the fact that although Medicaid must seek repayment from the estate of a deceased individual who had been receiving benefits, the home that you leave behind cannot be attached if your surviving spouse or a dependent is still residing in it.