The Basics of Medicaid – What You Can and Can’t Keep

To qualify for Medicaid in North Carolina for nursing home care, applicants must pass some fairly strict tests on the amount of assets they can keep. To understand how Medicaid works, we first need to review what are known as exempt and non-exempt (or countable) assets.

Exempt assets are those which Medicaid will not take into account (at least for the time being). In general, the following are the primary exempt assets:

All other assets are generally non-exempt, and are countable. Basically, all money and property, and any item that can be valued and turned into cash, is a countable asset unless it is one of those assets listed above as exempt. This includes:

While the Medicaid rules themselves are complicated and tricky, it’s safe to say that a single person will qualify for Medicaid as long as she has only exempt assets plus a small amount of cash and/or money in the bank, up to $2.000 in North Carolina.

Note that these rules apply to nursing home care Medicaid in North Carolina. Medicaid for assisted living has different rules.Some of the rules are similar, but many are different.