When you apply for Medicaid benefits, your assets are placed into two categories: “exempt” and “non-exempt” assets. “Exempt” assets are those that the applicant is permitted to retain and still become eligible for Medicaid. However, “non-exempt” assets will be counted as available to you and they will have to be “spent down,” or otherwise legally protected, before you will qualify for Medicaid.
- Your home, as long as it is the principal place of residence for the applicant, his or her spouse, or a dependent child;
- Household and personal belongings, such as furniture and appliances, clothing and personal effects, wedding and/or engagements rings
- One automobile per household;
- Tools of a trade or occupation, and farm supplies, livestock and similar items in some restricted instances;
- Term life insurance policies and group policies that have no cash surrender value;
- A prepaid funeral and burial plan, if irrevocable;
- A very limited amount of otherwise non-exempt assets, which most people choose to keep as money in a bank account. The applicant is allowed to keep resources up to a cash value of not greater than $2,000 in Virginia ($3,000 for a married couple where both spouses are applying for Medicaid).