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The Politics of Health Care

NY Medicaid & Social Security Release 2012 Income & Resource Levels

Published November 29, 2011 7:55 AM by Michael LaMagna
Medicaid, which is simply complete health insurance provided by the states, but paid jointly by the state and federal government, is increasing the maximum income and asset levels that recipients must not exceed in order to either initially or continuously qualify for the program. The increase is due to the 3.6 percent Social Security cost of living increase, effective Jan. 1, 2012. The Medicaid program is "means tested," which means that to receive benefits you must not exceed the income and asset levels, as well as certain disability/age qualifiers.

Effective Jan. 1, 2012, New York Medicaid will use the following figures:

Household       Medicaid Standard               Medically Needy

Size                SS/CC - LIF                         Income Level

                       Annual     Monthly            Annual     Monthly     Resources

1                    8,818         735                    9500        792              14250

2                    11008        918                    13900      1159            20850

3                    13098        1092                  15985      1333            23978

4                    15208        1268                  18070      1506            27105

5                    17389        1450                  20155      1680            302333

6                    18984        1582                  22240      1854            33360

7                    20665        1723                  24325      2028            36488

8                    22822        1902                  26410      2201             39615

Each ad'l        1236           104                    2085        174               3128

In addition:

  • The community spouse minimum and maximum Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA), which is the amount of assets that a spouse who remains in the community is allowed to keep, while their spouse remains permanently in a nursing home, will range from $74,820 to $113,640, depending on total assets of the couple.
  • The community spouse Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA), which is the monthly income amount a community spouse can keep while their spouse remains in the nursing home, increases to $2,841.
  • Social Security - Substantial Gainful Activity (non-blind), which is the amount that a person on disability cannot exceed while working and still be considered disabled, increases to $1,010/month, although any work can jeopardize disability payments.
  • The Standard Medicare Part B payment will be $99.90.

Notwithstanding these figures, Medicaid planning can include utilizing spousal refusal, which protects the assets of the community spouse, drafting a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, which can preserve assets and other trusts to preserve income while staying in the community.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article shall be construed as legal advice or should be relied upon as such. Michael LaMagna is a partner at Timins & LaMagna, LLP, practicing Health Care Regulatory, Elder /disability/veteran's law, trusts and estates, Social Security and general legal practice in both New York and Connecticut. Michael was just appointed to the ACO Task Force of the American Health Lawyers Association. Email him at Mlamagna@tllawoffices.com or call him at 914-819-0663 for more information.

posted by Michael LaMagna

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