Medicaid is a government program that helps individuals pay for long-term and nursing home care once they have reached an advanced age. Not everyone qualifies for Medicaid, and there is an income threshold under which individuals must be in order to receive support. New Yorkers who are interested in learning more about Medicaid as an option for funding their long-term medical needs may want to discuss their questions with elder law and Medicaid planning attorneys in their communities.

Medicaid eligibility depends on a person’s assets and access to financial support. Often a person will not qualify for Medicaid because of the income or assets of their spouse. When this is the case, the spouse of a Medicaid applicant may consider using the spousal refusal process to claim that they will not pay to support their partner.

Spousal refusal may seem like a strange option to include in the Medicaid rules, but there are certain situations where it makes sense. For example, if a person is on their second or more subsequent marriage, they may not wish to use all of their separate assets to provide for their spouse. They may wish to save the estate for their children or grandchildren. In such a situation, spousal refusal may make sense.

This post provides no legal advice or guidance to its readers and is informational in its contents. It only introduces the topic of the spousal refusal option during an individual’s Medicaid application process. More information, including whether spousal refusal makes sense to an individual and their spouse, can be asked of legal professionals who practice Medicaid law.