In our last entry we talked about what it means to be the institutionalized spouse. The spouse who is residing in a health care facility, whether a hospital or a nursing home, is considered to be “institutionalized” for Medicaid purposes. One or both spouses can be institutionalized. But the mild-mannered husband or wife who is not in the nursing home has special powers and a special title to go with it: community spouse.
It can also be referred to as the “healthy” spouse. This is because the community spouse is still mentally and physically strong enough to continue living at home on their own.
The distinction between a community spouse and the institutionalized one is important when it comes to the Medicaid eligibility rules. The community spouse has some special powers that an institutionalized on doesn’t. One power is called “Spousal Impoverishment.” That sounds scary, but what it really is is when a community spouse gets to keep more of the couple’s money, more of the couple’s income, and may be able to preserve a significant portion of the couple’s estate and legacy.
But all this can not be possible without special, specific planning.
Call our office at (712) 737-3885 to find out how we can reduce or even eliminate the financial stress that comes with a looming institutionalization, and how we can help you preserve your legacy.