MassHealth Home Services for Seniors
If you live in Massachusetts, are eligible for MassHealth, and are age 60 or older (or under 60 with Alzheimer’s) there are many at-home health services you may be eligible for. They include nursing care, day care, housekeeping, meal preparation. These services can help seniors to live at home longer and avoid nursing home care.
If you are a MassHealth member the cost of the services will likely be free. Otherwise depending on your income, a monthly co-payment ranging from $10 to a $151 may apply.
Monthly Income Eligibility
To be eligible for in-home services you must meet certain financial criteria. Your monthly cost for the services will be pro-rated base on income. An individual’s gross monthly income cannot exceed $51,564 (as of 3/1/2019).
MassHealth Countable Assets
A person applying for MassHealth must have no more than $2,000 in “countable” assets. However, they can have “non-countable” assets, which are usually things that directly benefit them or their spouse.
There are ways to reduce your assets before applying to MassHealth but if not done correctly, your eligibility can be jeopardized. Following are examples of spending down assets without impacting MassHealth eligibility.
- Paying off debts. Paying off your credit cards, loans, mortgages, and your student debt will not count against your MassHealth eligibility.
- Home improvements. Every home is going to need maintenance and improvements over the years, and MassHealth allows you to spend down on these projects.
- Replacing old vehicles. Replacing an old vehicle will benefit your healthy spouse. You may also have a second vehicle that’s older than seven years.
- Household items and personal effects. You can buy personal effects, within reason—MassHealth reviewers might be suspicious if you “invest” in absurdly expensive jewelry, for example, but items like clothing, furniture and everyday necessities do not count.
- Medical care and/or equipment. Any medical items or care that MassHealth does not cover is not considered a countable asset. You are safe to spend as much money as necessary on such medical care or equipment without jeopardizing your eligibility.
- Selling and buying a new home. Your primary residence is considered a non-countable asset, so you may be able to sell your old home and buy a new one. However, it is always prudent to contact an experienced attorney to ensure you are not taking any unnecessary risks.
- Funeral plans. Pre-paid funeral plans will not impact your eligibility. They also are a good idea so that your loved ones are never caught by surprise or are unable to carry out your wishes due to funds.
- While there are limits placed on assets held by spouses, transfers between spouses are allowed by MassHealth.
For assistance with MassHealth and Medicaid planning, spend down, qualification and applications, please contact our elder law attorneys. View attorney profiles.
Baker Law Group can help you plan your estate so that your assets are protected on behalf of your beneficiaries, and you’ll remain eligible for the maximum amount of Massachusetts state benefits.
We offer a complimentary initial consultation.
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