Are IRAs Countable Assets for Purposes of Medicaid Eligibility?
If I need to go to a nursing home on Medicaid, will my wife’s IRA be counted as an asset in determining my eligibility?
That depends on your state. Some states treat IRAs as countable assets and some don’t.
My state of Massachusetts, for example, treats them as countable when determining Medicaid eligibility, but has a rarely used exception. If the community spouse is continuing to work — a rare occurrence for spouses of nursing home residents — a retirement plan connected to her work will not be counted. This has been of great benefit for a few of our clients whose spouses were struck with a disabling illness at a young age or who are much younger than their ill spouses. In some cases, we’ve helped such clients consolidate 401(k) accounts from former employers with their current company to protect them from having to be spent down.
Massachusetts, however, is the only state I’m aware of with this particular rule. The website ElderLawAnswers has information on each state here: https://www.elderlawanswers.com/key-state-medicaid-information.