What are the asset rules when applying for MassHealth?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | MassHealth

As Massachusetts residents age, they might need to consider their options for long-term care.

MassHealth is in place for these contingencies, but not everyone is eligible for the program. One concern is meeting the asset rules to be eligible under MassHealth.

The elderly person who needs care, a spouse and their family members who are uncertain of what care options and financial avenues are available to them may frequently hesitate and not know what to do. In these cases, it is important to act and be safe in the knowledge that there are programs available that not only provide care for older people, but also lets them retain assets.

Know the asset rules for long-term care

When calculating assets, MassHealth will look at their countable and non-countable assets. It will check the value of any properties the person owns and the asset limits. Those who are married and reside with a spouse will have the combined assets calculated and valued.

For countable assets, a person’s savings and investments are considered. If they have a bank account, a retirement account, stocks and bonds, its value will be counted. A person’s real property will also be part of the process. Importantly, that does not include a home.

The home is a non-countable asset if it is in Massachusetts, the person intends to return there and its equity does not go beyond a specified limit. For most people, the home will be excluded.

One vehicle can be excluded. If the person who plans to move into a facility and the spouse have a life insurance policy, it is non-countable if its face value maxes out at $1,500. Other assets that are non-countable are burial plots and as much as $1,500 for the prospective long-term care resident and their spouse if it is for burial and funeral costs.

Don’t fear seeking long-term care

It is common for elderly people who need long-term care to avoid seeking it because they are fearful that they will lose all their property and assets. Since there are countable and non-countable assets when applying for MassHealth for long-term care, they are generally protected and can retain properties.

This is essential to understand, especially for people who own a home and want to retain it without fear of it being categorized as a countable asset. There are options available and people need to know about them when they are weighing their long-term care strategy. This makes it vital to have a grasp of all the rules, what can be done and how they can be protected financially and personally under elder law.