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What are Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Numbers in 2023?

McNair Dallas Law

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the 2023 federal guidelines for how much money the spouses of institutionalized Medicaid recipients may keep.

When reviewing any documents for home care, assisted living and nursing home care, be certain to review all of the documents carefully, says a recent article from The Bristol Press titled “Medicaid’s Spousal Impoverishment figures for 2023.”

More than one family has reviewed admissions packets to nursing homes containing incorrect advice on the Medicaid program. One family mentioned in the article met with an elder lawyer to review information, only to learn the figures in the information they’d been given were thirteen years old. If they had used this out-of-date information, the family could have been liable for thousands of dollars.

In 2023, the spouse of a Medicaid recipient living in a Texas nursing home, who is referred to as the “community spouse,” can keep as much as $148,620 without putting the sick spouse’s eligibility for Nursing Home Medicaid at risk. Note there are many ways to protect more than this, which is something elder law attorneys do for clients.

Different states set a different maximum of the “community spouse resource allowance,” but this is the most a state may allow the community spouse to retain without a hearing, court order or other legal strategy. The least a state may permit a community spouse to retain in 2023 is $29,724.

The Community Spouse Protected Amount (CSPA) is the amount of assets the community spouse may retain when the institutionalized spouse is eligible for Medicaid. It is the greatest of either the Spousal Share (one-half of the total amount of joint countable assets as of the first day of continuous institutionalization for the sick spouse) or the Maximum Community Spouse Protected Amount at the time of the application, or the amount determined by the Texas Department of Health & Human Services.

An elder law attorney is able to use a number of legal strategies to protect more than the maximum protected amount. While the Maximum and Minimum Spousal Standards increase each year, the advice of an elder law attorney is invaluable in protecting the family’s assets.

The maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance for 2023 is $3,715.50. This is the most in monthly income a community spouse may have if their own income is not enough to live on, and he or she must take some or all of the institutionalized spouse’s income.

The minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $2,288.75. In determining how much a particular spouse is permitted to retain, every state must abide by the upper and lower ranges. These numbers are only applicable, if the community spouse needs to take income from the institutionalized spouse.

According to Medicaid Law, the community spouse may keep all of his or her own income, even if it exceeds the monthly maintenance needs allowance.

Planning for Texas Medicaid qualification is complicated, with penalties for improper financial transfers during the 5 year look-back period, and other restrictions.  Contact our office to get started today.

Reference: The Bristol Press (Jan. 5, 2023) “Medicaid’s Spousal Impoverishment figures for 2023”

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