Medicare Glossary

Definitions for common Medicare terms

Medicaid spend down

DEFINITION:

People who live in states that have so-called “medically needy programs” may be able to use their medical expenses to “spend down” their income to a level that’s below the Medicaid eligibility level.
More than half the states (plus the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands) have medically needy programs.
Residents are required to qualify during a “spend-down period” specified by their states  – and then re-qualify after each period (which may be from one to six months long).