My husband is 68 yrs old and has alzheimers along with parkinsonism. We have no long term care insurance. Just medicare. He needs to be in an Alzheimers center for care but there is no way we can afford the $3000+ a month. what can we do?

You need to go see an elder law attorney if you have not already done so. You can go to to search for one or one near you is Christina Applegate at

To get Medicaid to pay for your husband’s care, the process in Indiana is that Medicaid adds all of your assets together whether they are in your name or your husband’s name and gives you as the healthy spouse half of the assets up to a maximum of $113,600 and a minimum of $22,728. The sick spouse is allowed to keep $1500 in assets.  (Your home and vehicle aren’t included in this asset assessment.) Assets would be money in your checking or savings accounts, cash value in life insurance policies, property outside your primary residence, CDs, money market accounts, investments – that kind of thing.  So here are three examples:

  1. if you had $100,000 in savings, you would be allowed to keep $50,000, and you would spend down $48,500, which leaves your husband with $1,500.
  2. if you had $150,000 in savings, you would be allowed to keep the maximum of $113,600, and you would spend down $34,900, leaving your husband with $1,500.
  3. If you had $30,000 in savings, you would keep $22,728 and spend down $5,772, leaving your husband with $1500.

Your husband’s income will go to the cost of his care, except he can keep a personal needs allowance of $52 (soon to be $60 from what I can see). If he is a veteran, he is entitled to an additional $90 a month for his personal needs allowance.

You are allowed to keep enough of his income to give you a minimum monthly income of $1,892.  You can keep more of his income equal to the amount of shelter costs you have above $568 a month. Shelter costs are things such as mortgage, rent, property tax, homeowners insurance, utilities, etc.    For example, if your shelter costs equal $1,000 a month, you can keep an additional $432 a month on top of the $1,892 ($1,000 – $568 = $432).  The higher your shelter costs, the more you can keep of his income up to a maximum monthly income for you of $2,841.  Now, if you already have income in your own name above $2,841, you couldn’t keep any of his income…it would go to the cost of his care.

These numbers usually increase a little annually. If your husband is a veteran, there’s something called an aide and attendance benefit that might apply and the elder law attorney would know about that.

This is the basic explanation of how Medicaid eligibility works for long-term care, Darlene.  You can apply online at  You can see on the right side of the page the link to apply but I recommend talking to the elder law attorney first.

I hope you find this helpful and you have my very best wishes. If you would like to talk with me about long-term care insurance for yourself and you don’t have a knowledgeable long-term care insurance professional in your area, I would be more than glad to help you.

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