What does “spend down” mean?

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Spend down refers to reducing the amount of excess countable assets so that a person will qualify for MassHealth. The state will not penalize or refuse to qualify an applicant for MassHealth if excess funds were spent on things for which value was received. For example, the most common spend down is to pre-pay for a funeral. Other allowed spend downs include repairs needed for the home of a married couple, legal fees, and the purchase of things that may be needed for the nursing home resident (i.e. glasses, hearing aids). The timing of any spend down must be carefully considered. It is important to make sure that all purchases have been completed prior to the date on which eligibility is requested. more
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