Countable versus Non-countable Assets

In North Carolina, an applicant for Medicaid is allowed only $2000 in countable assets. The applicant’s spouse is allowed to keep one half of all the couple’s countable assets, up to a maximum value of $119,220 (2015). Countable assets are those that are included in these allowances. Any non-countable assets can be kept and do not count toward the $2000 or $119,220. Examples of non-countable assets include:

  • Primary Residence (in most cases; certain requirements must be met)
  • Household goods and person items
  • One vehicle (the one of highest value)
  • Term life insurance
  • Irrevocable burial contracts
  • Some annuities

Most all other assets are countable, including:

  • Money in checking and savings accounts
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Stocks & Bonds
  • Ownership interest in a business
  • Real property other than the primary residence

These lists are not exhaustive, and there are many details that must be considered in determining countable versus non-countable assets. It is advisable to consult an elder law attorney prior to making transfers or purchases in anticipation of applying for Medicaid.

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