**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)