Medicaid Blog
Kalamazoo - Medicaid Law and Regulation Blog

What Assets Does DHS Count?

Posted January 6, 2017

Liquid Assets that DHS counts when considering your application for Medicaid for Nursing Home Care (Also known as Countable Assets):

  • Cash, savings accounts and checking accounts;
  • Credit union share and draft accounts;
  • Certificates of deposit;
  • U.S. Savings Bonds; and
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and Keogh plans.

Equity Assets:

  • Real estate (other than your home);
  • More than one car;
  • Boats or recreational vehicles;
  • Stocks, bonds and mutual funds; and
  • Land contracts or mortgages held on real estate sold See Appendix II for more help determining your assets.

A list of common assets DHS does not normally count are (also known as Excluded Assets):

  • Your primary residence for Medicaid eligibility, but do count the equity when determining Medicaid payment for long-term care services;
  • Personal belongings and household goods;
  • One car;
  • Burial spaces and certain related items for you and your immediate family;
  • Up to $1,500 designated as a burial fund for you or your spouse, if you have one;
  • Irrevocable prepaid funeral contract; and
  • Value of life insurance if total face value of all policies is $1,500 or less per owner, or term insurance of any kind.


To Determine if You are Eligible for Medicaid:

Posted December 5, 2016

In order to determine if you or your spouse is eligible for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care DHS will ask you to verify:

  • Income and assets
  • Age
  • Medical expenses
  • Income of other dependents at home
  • Marital status
  • Medical insurance

This is a two-step process. First DHS determines whether you are eligible on the basis of your assets. This is called asset eligibility. If you are asset-eligible, then they review your income. If you have too many assets to qualify for Medicaid benefits, your application may be denied. In order to verify assets, DHS will ask you for:

  • Proof of your income and assets. If you have a spouse, they will need proof of his or her income and assets, too.
  • If you are under age 65, they may need proof of your disability.
  • Proof that you are a U.S. citizen.
  • The documents DHS will ask for include:
  • Bankbooks or statements, including joint accounts
  • Pension payment information
  • Social Security benefit information
  • Real estate value (other than your home)
  • Recent medical bills


Medicare Eligibility and Coverage:

Posted November 10, 2016

Medicare pays for health care for people age 65 years and older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant).

Medicare does not pay the largest part of long-term care services or personal care—such as help with bathing, or for supervision often called custodial care. Medicare will help pay for a short stay in a skilled nursing facility, for hospice care, or for home health care if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have had a recent prior hospital stay of at least three days
  • You are admitted to a Medicare-certified nursing facility within 30 days of your prior hospital stay
  • You need skilled care, such as skilled nursing services, physical therapy, or other types of therapy

If you meet all these conditions, Medicare will pay for some of your costs for up to 100 days. For the first 20 days, Medicare pays 100 percent of your costs. For days 21 through 100, you pay your own expenses up to $140.00 per day (as of 2013), and Medicare pays any balance. You pay 100 percent of costs for each day you stay in a skilled nursing facility after day 100.

In addition to skilled nursing facility services, Medicare pays for the following services for a limited time when your doctor says they are medically necessary to treat an illness or injury:

  • Part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology that your doctor orders that a Medicare-certified home health agency provides for a limited number of days only
  • Medical social services to help cope with the social, psychological, cultural, and medical issues that result from an illness. This may include help accessing services and follow-up care, explaining how to use health care and other resources, and help understanding your disease
  • Medical supplies and durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and walkers. For durable medical equipment, you pay 20 percent of the Medicare approved amount

There is no limit on how long you can receive any of these services as long as they remain medically necessary and your doctor reorders them every 60 days. Medicare covers hospice care if you have a terminal illness and are not expected to live more than six months. If you qualify for hospice services, Medicare covers drugs to control symptoms of the illness and pain relief, medical and support services from a Medicare-approved hospice provider, and other services that Medicare does not otherwise cover, such as grief counseling. You may receive hospice care in your home, in a nursing home (if that is where you live), or in a hospice care facility. Medicare also pays for some short-term hospital stays and inpatient care for caregiver respite.



Prearranged Funerals and Medicaid for Nursing Home Care:

Posted October 21, 2015

You can prearrange your funeral and still get Medicaid. How much money you can protect, and for whom, depends on which arrangements you choose. Someone in the funeral or insurance business may be able to give you more information. These are four commonly used arrangements:

Prepaid funeral contract - Irrevocable funeral contracts are not counted if the contract is for your expenses and the amount of the contract is less than the funeral maximum in BAM 805. You will need to contact your DHS caseworker since the allowable amount of the contract changes each year.

Life insurance - Michigan law allows you to assign money from your life insurance for your funeral costs. There is a limit to the amount you can assign. You can usually do this by transferring ownership to a trust when you buy the insurance. If you have a spouse, you may also protect funds to pay their funeral costs.

Buy burial space items - You can buy items for burial. Examples are a casket, a burial plot, a vault, a headstone, and opening and closing the gravesite. These items do not count as assets when you buy them for yourself, your spouse, and are limited for members of your immediate family.

Designate a burial fund - A burial fund pays for funeral costs not covered by allowable burial space items. A separate savings account for a burial fund for you or your spouse does not count as an asset. The limit is $1,500. The limit includes:

  • The face value of life insurance that was not counted.
  • The amount paid for an irrevocable funeral contract.
  • The amount of insurance for burial costs