Whatt o do about Medicaid and spousal impoverishment?

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2011

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Whatt o do about Medicaid and spousal impoverishment?

My husband has been in a nursing home and on Medicaid for almost 5 years. He is on medically needy Medicaid so they don’t pay his in-patient hospital bills. I cannot get a definitive answer on this and need one badly. Am I responsible for his medical bills or are my meager assets protected under the spousal impoverishment act? Every time he goes in the hospital and they send a bill.

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Medicaid is administered through the Social Security Act. The Spousal Impoverishment Act enacted in 1989 exempts a spouse's home, car, personal effects and the like from payment obligations for nursing care bills. Non exempt items such as cash on hand typically range from 22,000 or so to the maximum of $112,000.

I recommend that you consult with a person with the Social Security Administration to assist you in completing exemption forms for your husband's bills for the nursing home that he is in paid for by Medicaid. Most likely a good portion of your assets will be protected under the act that you have written about.

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