Division of Assets is the name commonly used for the Spousal Impoverishment provisions of the Medicare Catastrophic Act of 1988. It applies only to couples. The intent of the law was to change the eligibility requirements for Medicaid where one spouse needs nursing home care while the other spouse remains in the community. The law, in effect, recognizes that it makes little sense to impoverish both spouses when only one needs to qualify for Medicaid assistance for nursing home care.
As a result of this recognition, Division of Assets was born. Basically, in a Division of Assets, the couple gathers all their countable assets together in a review. Exempt assets, such as the primary residence are not counted. The countable assets are then divided in two, with the at home or community spouse allowed to keep up to one-half of all countable assets to a maximum of approximately $113,640.00. The other half of the countable assets must be “spent down” until less than $2,500.00 remains. The amount of the countable assets which the at-home spouse gets to keep is called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA).
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