When you apply for Medicaid and are over the age of 65, different rules apply to you than for other applicants. The state will assess your assets as part of the qualification process.
According to the New York Department of Health, the state looks at all countable assets. Countable assets are things such as cash you have in bank accounts, vacation homes and other investments. There are some exempt assets.
Exempt assets include your retirement accounts and personal items. Things in your home, such as your furniture, do not count as assets. You also get exemptions for up to $1,500 in burial funds and funeral pre-arrangements. You can exempt one vehicle as well.
Your home may be exempt, depending on the equity. If you have under a certain amount of equity, then your home is exempt. The amount may change annually. You also must live in the home for the state to not include it in countable assets. If you have a spouse and he or she lives in your home, it is exempt regardless of any other factor.
The state does offer some allowances for your spouse to prevent him or her from suffering financially from your attempt to qualify for Medicaid. The Community Spouse Resource Allowance gives your spouse an asset limit he or she can claim. These assets will not be in the countable assets for your Medicaid qualification.
You should make sure you meet asset requirements prior to filing. Medicaid has a period in which the state will look back at the assets you owed. If you sell or transfer assets during this period, then they will count against you, so plan ahead to qualify for the insurance.