TennCare/Medicaid treats annuities in one of two ways: 1. Income or 2. Resource. In a previous blog post, RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS OF THE COMMUNITY SPOUSE, we discussed that 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 resource. However, the process to do this is both time and rule sensitive.
Bryson Eubanks, Attorney
Retirement Accounts Of the Community Spouse
When a married couple considers paying for long-term care with TennCare/Medicaid, they are split into two categories: 1. Institutionalized Spouse (IS) and 2. the Community Spouse (CS). The difference between the two is that the IS is applying for TennCare/Medicaid benefits while the CS is not. Under the same application, Medicaid always determines whether spousal resources are countable or exempt. As you would expect, countable resources can prevent eligibility, but exempt resources do not. Traditionally, retirement accounts, such as IRA’s and 401K’s, for the IS are always countable resources for qualification purposes. On the flip side, the CS’s retirement accounts did not count, if the CS was taking monthly payment that were equal to a required minimum distribution (RMD).