When one spouse has long-term care needs, but the other does not, it can lead to monetary concerns.
Fortunately, federal law has asset and income protections in place to prevent financial hardships.
What are healthy spousal impoverishment protections?
Spouses of Medicaid applicants receiving long-term care have special protections under the law to ensure they have the support required to pay their living expenses. When determining if a person qualifies for spousal protections, Colorado considers the couple’s combined estate value.
Do spousal protections apply to assets?
These laws protect healthy spouses by permitting them to retain a certain amount of the couple’s asset value to pay their necessary living expenses. This Community Spouse Resource Allowance applies to the total of the resources, up to a specified limit. Without this protection, likely all of the financial holdings would have to go to the nursing home care costs, leaving the community spouse without a way to pay the bills.
Can spousal impoverishment rules protect income?
Colorado laws regarding these protections may allow healthy individuals to safeguard some of their spouses’ income. However, the community spouse can only use this money for basic needs. The state takes into consideration all sources of income to make a determination.
Paying for long-term care is expensive and can be a substantial financial burden to a healthy spouse. It is essential to understand the complex and sometimes confusing laws regarding spousal protection. Thorough knowledge and advanced planning ensure married people who do not require nursing home care have the money they need to live independently.