CMS Releases 2015 Spousal Impoverishment Figures
CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has released the new annual spousal impoverishment and SSI figures for 2015. The full numbers are contained in a pdf file which you can download by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.
Here is a quick recap of the new figures and what they mean:
2015 ASSET LIMITS:
The 2015 minimum Community Spousal Resource Allowance (CSRA) is $23,844. The 2015 maximum CSRA is $119,220.
Reminder, in the straight deduction states (e.g., California, Florida, etc.) the Max CSRA is the asset cap. Any asset amount below that is sufficient to qualify for long-term care Medicaid. For example, if a couple has $90,000 in countable assets, then in the straight deduction states they do not need to spend down any further. Also, in straight deduction states the minimum CSRA is never a factor.
In the one-half deduction states (e.g., Michigan, Ohio, etc.), the minimum and maximums are both used. Take the couple with the $90,000. In a one-half deduction state, the CSRA calculation would take the total countable resources and divide it in half ($90,000/2=$45,000) to determine CSRA amount of $45,000.
Where the maximum is used in a one-half deduction state is when the countable resources exceed double the maximum. For instance, a couple with $400,000 in countable assets would only be able to set aside $119,220 for the CSRA. The remaining assets would be exposed to the Medicaid spend down.
The minimum CSRA acts as a floor and only factors in when the total amount of assets divided in half fall below the minimum. For example, if a couple has $45,000, then the CSRA would not be $22,250 because that amount is below the minimum. The CSRA in that case would default to the minimum $23,884.
Remember, too, CSRA calculations in one-half deduction states are based on the snapshot date and not the application date.
2015 INCOME LIMITS:
The new Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) is $1,991.25 (for all states except Alaska and Hawaii). The new maximum amount is $2,980.50. The Maintenance Needs Allowances are set mid-year and these numbers go into effect on July 1, 2015. This figure is used to determine how much of the patient’s income a community spouse can keep.
The new Community Spouse Monthly Housing Allowance is $597.38 (for all states except Alaska and Hawaii). This number also changes mid-year and goes into effect on July 1, 2015.
2015 HOME EQUITY LIMITS:
The 2015 minimum Home Equity Limit in 2015 is $552,000. In the handful of states that have adopted an upper limit, that amount is $828,000 for 2015. This limit was set just before the collapse of the housing market. As the housing market has nearly seen a full recovery to pre-collapse values, this equity limit now becomes a serious factor for long-term care Medicaid applicants. NOTE: This limit does not apply to long-term care Medicaid applicants who are married.
2015 Spousal Impoverishment Figures (Part Effective 1/1/2015; Part Effective 7/1/2015)