All other assets are generally non-exempt, and are countable. Basically, all money and property, and any item that can be valued and turned into cash, is a countable asset unless it is one of those assets listed above as exempt. This includes:
- Cash, savings, and checking accounts, credit union shares and draft accounts
- Certificates of deposit
- U.S. Savings Bonds
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), Keogh plans (401K, 403B)
- Prepaid funeral contracts which can be canceled
- Assets registered in a Revocable Living Trust
- Real estate (other than the residence)
- More than one car
- Stocks, bonds or mutual funds
- Land contracts or mortgages held on real estate sold
While the Medicaid rules themselves are complicated and tricky, it's safe to say that a single person will qualify for Medicaid as long as she has only exempt assets plus a small amount of cash and/or money in the bank, not exceeding $2,000.00. For a married couple, the spouse who is not a resident of a nursing home can keep the exempt assets and half of the countable assets, but no more then $109,560.00.
Of course, with further planning, as will be discussed in future posts, a single person can protect significantly more than $2,000 and a married couple can usually protect all of their assets.
Some assets are neither exempt nor countable, but rather are considered Unavailable Assets, which will be discussed in Part 9.