“Q: My mother is in assisted living and has about one year left before she spends down to $4,000 and applies for Medicaid. She has about $12,000 in jewelry that she insisted on taking with her. The facility listed the jewelry as part of her personal inventory. Will she have to sell her jewelry before she can qualify for Medicaid?
“A: Your mother should be able to keep her jewelry because personal items are not countable against the Medicaid asset limit, similar to clothing and furniture. The fact that her jewelry is more valuable than that owned by most Medicaid beneficiaries shouldn’t make a difference. After all, she does not own the Hope diamond. However, these are general rules and we recommend you talk to someone who knows how the rules are applied in your area to get a more definite answer. To find an elder law attorney near you, go here: https://www.elderlawanswers.com/elder-law-attorneys.”
LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
Personal belongings are exempt in any amount, except items held as investments for appreciation. Medicaid eligibility workers likely will not even ask about personal possessions or their value. The Medicaid planner answering this question knows that. His real motive is to get the questioner in for an interview where he’ll save the family that last year of paying privately for care in exchange for a generous fee. Of course, Grandma may need to move from assisted living into a nursing home.