Q: If I have a whole life insurance policy. Do I have to cash it in to qualify for MA or do they put a lien on proceeds at my death? I have $300,000 whole life with $25,000 cash value. Do I have to cash in to access the cash value or would they put a lien on the proceeds at my death, in order to qualify for medical assistance to pay for nursing home care?
A: Your question can only be answered with an experienced elder law attorney reviewing all of the facts. Generally, if you don’t want to lose the insurance policy, many insurance policies allow you to “borrow down” the cash value of the policy. Then you can spend those funds in an approved way that will allow you to qualify for benefits. This way, you can retain the benefit of the insurance coverage for your beneficiaries when you pass. You need an experienced elder law attorney well versed in Medicaid regulations to look at your situation and you want to have the insurance company carefully explain your options.