Preventing Spousal Impoverishment
The Medicaid financial eligibility rules differ in some important and favorable ways for married couples or couples who have a civil union. When a spouse, (also referred to as the “institutionalized spouse”) requires Medicaid to pay for nursing facility care, the law provides financial protection for the other spouse who remains at home (often referred to as the “community spouse”). These special rules, called “spousal impoverishment prevention” provisions, were intended by Congress to prevent the impoverishment of spouses of frail or ill individuals who require institutional long-term care. The attorneys at Dutton & Casey, P.C., can assist with all aspects of the Medicaid planning process.
In 2013, the community spouse asset allowance, (CSAA) is $109,560 and the community spouse monthly maintenance needs allowance (CSMMNA) is $2,739.00. If the community spouses’ asset level is less than the CSAA, than the institutionalized souse may transfer his or her assets to the community spouse to bring the spouse assets up to that asset limit.
If the community spouses’ income is less than the CSMMNA, than the institutionalized spouse many transfer his or her income to the community spouse to bring the spouses’ income up to the income limit. If appropriate, both the CSAA and CSMMNA may be increased through an administrative hearing or court order.