Nursing Home Medicaid–What About IRAs?

For many individuals, retirement savings are their largest asset. And when facing nursing home care, the rules about Medicaid and IRAs can be very confusing. So, how do IRAs (and pensions, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc.) affect Medicaid eligibility? Will a large IRA disqualify a nursing home resident for Medicaid?

For those who are receiving payments from their IRAs (or the Required Minimum Distribution if they are over 70 ½ years of age) IRAs are treated as income in the month received. IRAs, if in payout status, are not looked at like an asset. In Georgia, a nursing home resident must be receiving a distribution from the IRA that includes at least some principal in order for the IRA to be treated as income and not an asset. For a well spouse, he or she does not have to be taking distributions in order for the IRA to be exempt. IRAs that are not in payout status are treated as a countable asset for the Medicaid applicant, but not so for the well spouse. It can be tricky to determine how to navigate Nursing Home Medicaid if an IRA is involved. Please call our office for a complimentary consultation at (404) 843-0121 if you would like more personalized information.

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