Aging In Michigan - November 2020

Medicaid Hunts Household Items

A new policy from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will make it harder for people seeking assistance with nursing home costs to “spend down” on household items in order to become eligible for Medicaid assistance.

Traditionally, the value of the things people own that would typically be found in a home, has been exempt from being considered in determining eligibility for long term care Medicaid benefits. So, in the past, it would be common for people to “spend down” on furniture and appliances as a way to achieve eligibility.

But new policy says these types of items are only exempt if they were in the home when the person applying for benefits, or their spouse, was living there. This means that a couch, for example, would not be exempt if the person who is applying for benefits, or their spouse, has never actually used it. Because people applying for Medicaid are often already in the nursing home or assisted living facility when they apply, this new policy will limit some of the options people have traditionally used to spend down.

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