2nd Marriage Impact on Eligibility

Last updated: November 16, 2021
medicaidplanner Staff asked 3 weeks ago

My mom has remarried, but still receives income from her first marriage. How do 2nd marriages impact income and assets for Medicaid eligibility purposes?

1 Answers
medicaidplanner Staff answered 3 weeks ago

A 2nd marriage, or any number of marriages, is treated the same as a 1st marriage for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Stated differently, Medicaid rules regarding the income and assets of a spouse remain the same for any current spouse. However, the income and assets of the non-applicant spouse are treated differently based on the Medicaid program for which the applicant spouse is applying.

For nursing home Medicaid and home and community based services (HCBS) via a Medicaid Waiver, the income of the non-applicant spouse is disregarded, meaning it is not counted towards the applicant spouse’s income eligibility. An alimony payment made to the Medicaid applicant from a previous marriage is considered income and is calculated towards income eligibility. Assets, on the other hand, are considered jointly owned, regardless of whose name the asset is in. Medicaid limits the assets of both the applicant spouse and non-applicant spouse, with the non-applicant spouse entitled to a larger portion of the assets called a community spouse resource allowance. Therefore, if the non-applicant spouse has a significant amount of assets, this could cause the applicant spouse to be asset ineligible, and in turn, ineligible for long-term care Medicaid. To see state-specific income and asset limits for nursing home Medicaid and HCBS Medicaid Waivers, click here.

For the regular state Medicaid program for seniors, often called Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid, the income of both the applicant spouse and non-applicant spouse are added together and calculated towards the income eligibility of the applicant spouse. The alimony payment from a previous marriage is considered the applicant spouse’s income and is calculated towards income eligibility. All assets of the couple are considered jointly owned and are limited. Unlike with nursing home Medicaid and HCBS Medicaid Waivers, there is no larger allocation of assets for the non-applicant spouse. Since both a non-applicant’s income and assets are calculated towards the Medicaid eligibility of the applicant spouse, unless a non-applicant spouse has very limited income and assets, an applicant spouse likely won’t qualify. To see state-specific income and asset limits for Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid, click here.

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