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Protecting the Spouse in Long-Term Medicaid Planning: Eligibility, Assets, Resources, Exemptions, and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide elder law counsel a detailed analysis of protecting the spouse in long-term Medicaid planning. The panel will discuss the best approaches to leverage the community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) and Medicaid monthly minimum maintenance needs allowance (MMMNA) and how to identify exempt assets and avoid spending down exempt funds. The panel will also discuss gifts or inheritance received by the community spouse, asset and money transfers to children, and estate planning issues.


Elder clients rarely plan for Medicaid asset preservation, not anticipating the illness or injury that requires long-term Medicaid planning. Under such circumstances, protecting the spouse should be prioritized. Practitioners advising the senior population must understand medical criteria, qualification standards for Medicaid, how assets are classified, and available mechanisms to protect a spouse. Medicaid has strict financial rules that may require money to be spent down in order to qualify.

Asset protection strategy implementation requires a working knowledge of how the spend-down is determined. Rules for married couples are particularly complicated when one spouse requires long-term care. Counsel's goal is to preserve as much income and assets for the healthy spouse as permitted under the law.

Fundamental approaches include making countable assets unavailable and leveraging the use of the CSRA and MMMNA. Other strategies include transferring the sick spouse's IRA/retirement funds to the healthy spouse, having a valid, well-crafted power of attorney, considering divorce as an asset-protection option, and revising the estate plan.

Listen as our distinguished panel of attorneys discusses tools to assist married clients in Medicaid planning when only one spouse requires long-term care. The speakers will provide tips for leveraging the CSRA and MMMNA, identifying exempt assets, and avoiding spending down exempt resources. The panel will also cover other strategies to maintain assets and income for the healthy spouse.



  1. Community spouse resource allowance
  2. Monthly maintenance needs allowance
  3. Avoid spending down exempt resources
  4. Identifying all exempt transfers
  5. Divorce as a strategy
  6. Revising the estate plan


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • What are the key challenges in protecting a spouse in long-term Medicaid planning?
  • What issues arise for gifts or inheritance received by the community spouse?
  • How do you manage asset and money transfers to children?
  • What estate planning issues must be considered?
  • How can the CSRA be optimized for the married client's benefit?
  • When is divorce a viable option in a spend-down strategy?


Cleevey, Gretchen
Gretchen Cleevely

Brady Cobin Law Group

Ms. Cleevely is passionate about finding clients the right tools to succeed, whether clients are overcoming the...  |  Read More

Gerity, Michael
Michael Gerity

Israel & Gerity

Mr. Gerity is a distinguished attorney in Arizona who brings a wealth of experience to every case, whether representing...  |  Read More

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