GoFundMe Donations Impact on Medicaid Eligibility

Last updated: June 03, 2024
Medicaid Long Term Care | Questions and AnswersCategory: EligibilityGoFundMe Donations Impact on Medicaid Eligibility
medicaidplanner Staff asked 5 years ago

Does accepting donations from a GoFundMe campaign or other crowdfunding website Impact Medicaid Eligibility?

1 Answers
medicaidplanner Staff answered 5 years ago

Yes, accepting donations from a GoFundMe account / campaign (or another social fundraising / crowdfunding website, like Fundly or Bonfire) can impact Medicaid eligibility.

Via social fundraising, money is raised via donations from numerous persons for various expenses, such as an upcoming surgery, necessary home and safety modifications, and hearing aids. Unfortunately, while raised funds may be needed in many situations, accepting them may result in a senior losing their Medicaid eligibility. This is because there are income and asset limits in order to be Medicaid-eligible. Even after a senior has been approved for Medicaid, their income and assets must remain under their state-specified limits to remain Medicaid-eligible.

If a senior Medicaid recipient sets up a GoFundMe account for themself, or an adult child or other concerned party sets up an account and names the senior as the beneficiary (recipient of the funds), it is probable that the raised funds will count as assets. This, in turn, will likely result in the senior having “excess” assets, or stated differently, assets over Medicaid’s limit. When this happens, the senior becomes ineligible for Medicaid. In order to become Medicaid-eligible again, the assets over Medicaid’s limit must be “spent down”.

There may, however, be one exception. If a senior spends the raised funds in the same month they are received, the funds will likely count as income, rather than assets. While this could put a put a senior over Medicaid’s income limit, resulting in Medicaid ineligibility for that month, it is important that a senior report the money and how it was spent to their state’s Medicaid agency. If there are any remaining funds the following month, they will likely count as assets.

Medicaid rules regarding crowdfunding are state-specific. For example, in Wisconsin, funds withdrawn from a crowdfunding site are considered income in the month they are withdrawn, and any portion not spent is considered assets the following month. As another example, in Kansas, Medicaid does not count the funds if the person making the donation is not expecting something in return for their donation. When this is the case, any donation (gift) under $50 is not counted as income.

If you have specific questions regarding a crowdfunding campaign or are considering creating such a campaign, it is best to talk with a Medicaid Planning Professional. Find one here.

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