How to Get On

Can I Get Medicaid if I’m Married?

Art: Robin Mead

If you are dealing with disability or chronic illness, but not eligible for Medicaid because your spouse has too much income or assets, you may still have a few options. Here are a few programs you may still qualify for:

🍁 MEDICAID WAIVERS – This program is for people with disabilities and chronic illness who need help with activities such as bathing, feeding, bathroom, and dressing. Medicaid waivers will provide home aides and other services in your home as well as health insurance. In many states they will not count your spouse’s income. In some states they will only count part of your spouse’s income and savings. Find out more about Medicaid Waivers and Medicaid Long Term Care

🍁 MEDICAID PLANNING – Many people take special steps to qualify for Medicaid waivers. There are several different strategies that can be used, including opening certain types of trusts. You may be able to hire a Medicaid planner or a Medicaid estate lawyer to assist you. Take a look at: How to Apply for a Medicaid Waiver When You Have Too Much Money

🍁 MEDICAID BUY-INS – A program for working disabled people, but in most states, there are no minimum requirements for work hours. Many of our readers qualified for this program based on self-employment activities they were already doing at home (babysitting, pet sitting, senior companion, making and selling art on etsy, etc). In some states they will not count your spouse’s income. Find out more about  Medicaid for Working Adults with Disabilities

🍁 MEDICAID FOR KIDS – If you and your spouse don’t qualify, you can still try applying for just your kids. They may qualify without you. Some states have much higher income limits for kids. For example, in some states, a single mom with three kids can make over $75,000 per year and the children are still eligible for Medicaid.

🍁 MEDICAID WAIVERS FOR KIDS – If your child has disabilities, check out Medicaid Waivers for children. In some states they will not count ANY of your income. Medicaid waivers exist for children with developmental disabilities in nearly every state. Most states also have programs for other types of disabilities. Also see these Facebook Groups for Medicaid Waivers

🍁 MEDICAID WAIVERS FOR MENTAL HEALTH – If you have been diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness, you may be eligible for medicaid through a mental health medicaid waiver program. You will get other cool services too! These programs are now available in some states. You can look up the names of different waiver programs in your state. You will need to research your state to see if they count spousal income and what the criteria are to qualify.

🍁 MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAMS – If you are on Medicare, you may be eligible for a Medicaid program that pays your premiums and co-pays. The income limits vary by state. In some states, you can be eligible even if you have $2,000-$3,000 per month in income and unlimited money in the bank. How to Escape Medicare Co-Pays and Premiums

🍁 MORE MEDICAID PROGRAMS – Most other Medicaid programs are going to include spousal income. If your spouse’s income is low, it doesn’t hurt to take a look. More Medicaid Programs.

🍁 MEDICAID SPEND DOWNS – Medicaid spend down programs will allow you to spend some of your own money to qualify. However, in many states, these programs are terrible and will leave you totally impoverished. Never accept a Medicaid Spend Down until you have explored all options on this page.


Here’s an article an article from an estate planning lawyer discussing this topic. There are also articles on this topic at, Legalzoom, and Farr Law firm.


You’ve probably heard stories of people getting divorced to get medicaid. Ironically, in some situations, the opposite is true. Some states have “spousal impoverishment protections,” for Medicaid waivers and Medicaid long term care.

These protections allow you dedicate some of your income or resources to a spouse. If your spouse is not also applying for a Medicaid waiver, their income and resources usually won’t count. For example, in Florida, a spouse can keep $120,000 of shared assets (plus a house of course). These rules are complex, so please research carefully.


🍁 Social Security Disability automatically comes with health insurance. If you think you are not eligible to apply for disability, please double check: Fifteen Ways to Qualify for Disability. If you are already applying: How to Greatly Improve Your Chances of Getting Approved Quicker

🍁 If you are unable to apply for Social Security because of your spouse’s income: How to Apply for Disability if You Are Married to Someone With Income

🍁 Some prescription assistance programs are available to people who are not low income: Help Paying for Meds


🍁 If you think you meet the criteria for one of the programs above, but someone from Medicaid tells you or writes to you that you are not eligible, don’t give up!

🍁  You can appeal the medicaid decision. They do make mistakes sometimes.

🍁 The people who work at Medicaid do not always know all the policies, and sometimes you can to learn the policies yourself and educate them. Look online to find Medicaid policy manuals. Or call the office and ask how you can find the policy manuals online.

🍁 Double check. The income limits are completely different for different Medicaid programs. Make sure you are being told the correct limits for the program you are actually applying for. Ask to see the policy it IN WRITING.

🍁 Here’s a few magic sentences that sometimes turn a no into a yes. How to Respond When You Are Told You Can’t Get Medicaid

🍁  Never take no for an answer over the phone or in person. People are told weird, discouraging things all the time. Let them turn you down IN WRITING. Many of our readers were told they would not be eligible, then applied anyway, and got approved.

🍁  Check the facts. That’s what Heidi did: “My Medicaid spend-down was miscalculated three different times. Finally, I filed a complaint and got to speak to a supervisor. The end result was I saved $3,000 per year on the spend-down, and got my Medicaid backdated by six months. Some Medicaid employees have an imperfect understanding of how to apply different regulations and formulas. You will get a different story depending on who you talk to.” – Heidi C.

🍁  Here’s a list of Common Problems with Medicaid Applications, along with some possible solutions. Take a look, maybe you will find the solution for you!

🍁  Here’s a great story from Pansy. She certainly did not take no for an answer: How Pansy Got on Medicaid After Being Told She Can’t Get on Medicaid.

💗 In Florida: How to Get Medicaid in Florida

Updated April 2018. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: