Kane & Crowell

The official blog of Kane & Crowell, a Lebanon, Tennessee Law Office.

Recent Changes In the Law Greatly Affect the Way Spouses Must Plan for TennCare/Medicaid

Retirement Accounts Of the Community Spouse Retirement Accounts Of the Community Spouse

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).

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