89-yr-old with $1 million in assets

For his age and asset size, he should try to minimize his monthly expenses but qualifying for nursing home under these facts is probably not going to work. After all, he can only have $2,000 in countable assets.

That being said: Depending on the state he lives in, he could possibly purchase a home for $1 million and live in it for a while–the longer the better. Then upon entering the nursing home, the home would be an exempt asset. However two issues remain: in some states after 6 months, if a doctor certifies that he will never go home, the house becomes a countable asset again. Secondly, upon his death, if the home was in his name alone, it will be subject to state recoupment of the Medicaid bills. However, even if he has to pay back the state, his bill will be based on the lower Medicaid rate paid to the nursing home, as opposed to the higher private rate he would have had to pay had he not qualified for Medicaid. Thus, whoever succeeds to his estate will receive a greater amount under this scenario.