TennCare and Medicaid Annuities
TennCare and Medicaid Annuties are treated in one of two ways: income or resource. In a previous blog post, RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS OF THE COMMUNITY SPOUSE, we explained how resources are either considered countable or exempt by TennCare/Medicaid. A TennCare/Medicaid applicant can transform an annuity or retirement account from a countable resource into an exempt one. However, the process to do this is both time and rule sensitive.
First, an annuity, or asset being annuitized for Medicaid purposes, must be set up at a specific time before an application for TennCare/Medicaid can be made. Second, the annuity must meet the following requirements:
3. Actuarily Sound (pays out within the annuitant’s life expectancy),
4. Produce Periodic Payments of Equal Amounts,
5. Have No Cash Value (i.e., principal not available), and
6. TennCare/Medicaid must be the first remainder beneficiary.
Regarding the sixth requirement, even when a person dies and before the annuity is fully paid out, TennCare/Medicaid can only recover up to what was paid out in benefits for the applicant.
A misstep in this area can lead to losing desired use and access of the resource. Additionally, TennCare/Medicaid may consider the transaction an improper gift. If the above requirements are unmet, it can create months of ineligibility for TennCare/Medicaid.
Annuities are vital to long-term care planning, but having them cause a problem is very easy. If you have any questions about Medicaid compliant annuities, please contact Bryson Eubanks at Kane and Crowell Family Law Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (615) 784-4800.