For grandparents

If I ever need to go to a nursing home and apply for Medicaid benefits, will the 529 accounts I have set up for my grandchildren be counted as part of my assets?

Check to see if your state still applies an assets test for Medicaid eligibility purposes, and whether the test will be eliminated or modified in 2014 as required by the Affordable Care Act. The states that currently still consider assets when testing for Medicaid eligibility will generally treat your 529 accounts as "countable" assets. Because 529 plans permit you to take the money back, those funds will be considered available to pay for your nursing home expenses and other medical expenses. If you are concerned about maximizing Medicaid eligibility you should discuss with your attorney your desire to use 529 plans. You may wish to make someone else the owner of your 529 accounts. If you establish the 529 accounts under your own name, and later transfer ownership of the account to someone else (or even use the account to pay for college expenses), your Medicaid eligibility may be restricted by the look-back rules which cover transfers up to 36 months or 60 months prior to application for Medicaid.

California excludes 529 plans when considering eligibility for Medi-Cal.


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