MO HealthNet - (formerly Medicaid)

MO HealthNet – (formerly Medicaid)

From Nikki’s interview for the Masters of Estates & Probate series on

From Alicia’s interview for the Masters of Estates & Probate series on

How to pay for nursing home care has become a critical issue in the lives of many people. Paying privately for a year’s stay in a nursing home can exceed $80,000. As a result, it does not take long to deplete all of one’s savings. Medicaid can provide significant assistance to those needing help funding the cost of nursing home care. This is a complex area of the law and should only be handled by an attorney who knows the Medicaid rules and regulations.

The attorneys at Mitchell, Brown & Associates, LLC can answer questions and help with the following:

  • Financial planning (long term and short term options) to achieve basic eligibility requirements
  • Assistance with spend-down – what are allowable purchases
  • Division of assets for married couples
  • When a married person applies for MO HealthNet, assets in either or both spouse’s name are considered by the MO HealthNet agency. However, some assets won’t be “countable” and some may be kept as an asset allowance if a spouse enters a nursing home. The community spouse will be given several months to re-title assets from the name of the spouse and the nursing home into the name of the community spouse.

There are rules designed to prevent spousal impoverishment. The law allows in certain cases, for one to keep a portion of his/her spouse’s income if their income is below certain limits. In addition to this allowance, one may be entitled to a greater allowance if the cost of remaining in the home exceeds a certain amount or if a state hearing officer or a judge orders a greater amount.

  • Advice regarding transfer penalties – calculating and curing transfer penalties – changed from 3 to 5 years but there are planning strategies.
  • Use of Medicaid annuities as planning strategy

The Elder Law attorneys at Mitchell, Brown & Associates can assist you with the protection of your assets with proper planning. What is Medicaid planning? Planning is reviewing and analyzing all financial data and developing a strategy to protect assets and achieve Medicaid benefit eligibility. This can be accomplished through a variety of planning techniques.


We encourage you to contact our St. Louis attorneys to get the advice you need. Together, we can discuss your long-term goals and advise you on planning that will allow you to reach those goals.