PA Case Upholds Use of Annuities in Medicaid Planning

A recent court case in PA has proven, once again, that state governments cannot re-write the Medicaid eligibility guidelines to individualize them for their state. Since Medicaid is a federal program administered by the state, states have no right to make changes that will make it more difficult to qualify for these benefits.

In a recent court decision, the court upheld the purchase of an irrevocable, unassignable, annuity purchased with joint funds and payable solely to the community spouse as a legitimate maneuver to protect excess assets from the Medicaid spend down requirements. The state maintained that the annuity could be converted to a cash asset by selling it to a company that specializes in purchasing annuity income streams and therefore the annuity should be a countable asset. The court disagreed, stating that the planning strategy was a legitimate planning method and that there is no requirement that the annuitant seek to find a purchaser of such annuity income streams. We also believe that selling the annuity at a discounted rate could place the annuitant in jeopardy of creating a period of ineligibility since the purchase price would be significantly less than the original investment in the annuity.

To receive a copy of the court’s decision, call us today at 877-752-0055.

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