Spend down

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Spend down is a strategy to make someone eligible for Medicaid whose income is slightly higher than the income cap. In order to be eligible for Medicaid, a person’s income level must remain below a certain level. Spend down allows someone to spend excess income above the cap on medical bills and be eligible for Medicaid. A person is allowed to spend the excess money on their own, spouse’s, or children’s current and past medical bills. For example, if Tammy makes $100 a month over the income limit, she could spend the excess $100 on her prescription drugs, and she would then be eligible for Medicaid. For more information on Medicaid, click here.

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]