MassHealth Nursing Home Eligibility

Medicaid is an important part of healthcare funding for low-income individuals. In Massachusetts, Medicaid is known as MassHealth. For those who are elderly and are seeking nursing home care, there are a variety of criteria that must be satisfied to be eligible. The following reviews the rules regarding MassHealth nursing home eligibility – for more questions, contact elder law lawyer, Patricia Bloom-McDonald.

Income Limit

Of course, there is an income limit which must be satisfied in order qualify for MassHealth in general. This income limit is at or below the federal poverty line. For 2015, the federal poverty line for an individual is $11,770.00; for a couple it is $15,930.00 per year.

Of Limited Resources

In addition to meeting the income limit, you must also be of limited resources in order to qualify for a nursing home. Of limited resources means a resources amount of no more than $3,000 per married couple, or $2,000.00 per individual.

Other Rules of MassHealth

The two eligibility requirements listed above—being of limited income and resources—are the two more important qualifying factors for MassHealth. However, there are other rules that an applicant should be aware of:

Penalty for Transfer of Assets

If assets are transferred prior to applying for MassHealth benefits, a five-year penalty will be imposed. The penalty is a period of lack of eligibility for MassHealth; if the assets are returned, then the penalty may be lifted.

Estate Seizure

While this is often a non-issue in MassHealth cases, the state does retain the right to recover anything that the state paid in MassHealth benefits from the estate at the time of the recipient’s death.

Paying Income

Finally, it’s important that any income an applicant does retain, even if minor, must be paid to the nursing home. This is true with the exception of a small amount (under $100) that the resident can keep for personal needs. Of course, there are exceptions to nearly every rule. Attorney Patricia Bloom-McDonald can help you navigate the system to learn more.

Consult with a Massachusetts Elder Law Attorney Today

For more information about MassHealth nursing home eligibility, the rules regarding MassHealth, and how to apply today, contact a legal professional. Patricia Bloom-McDonald, attorney-at-law, can guide you through everything you need to know! Reach her at 781-713-4709 or 508-636-6097.