Impact of Stimulus Check on Medicaid Eligibility
If you recently received a stimulus check from the Federal Government as a result of the CARES Act, we are writing to let you know that the stimulus check does not count as income and is an exempt asset for a period of twelve months after it is received.
If you are currently receiving Medicaid coverage (a “Recipient”) and received a stimulus check from the Federal Government as a result of the CARES Act, you may be concerned with maintaining your eligibility. Medicaid’s asset rule requires the bank account of a Recipient to remain below $2,000 as of the first moment of the first date of each month to maintain eligibility. In addition to the asset rule, Recipients must also report all changes in monthly income to FSSA.
How will FSSA treat the stimulus checks that thousands of Recipients are receiving in their bank accounts or mailboxes?
The stimulus check is an exempt asset for a period of twelve months after it is received and will not immediately disrupt eligibility. The receipt of a stimulus check is considered a federal refund under FSSA’s Policy Manual and therefore will not immediately count as an available asset.
In addition, Medicaid’s income rule considers the individual’s monthly income in the calculation of the monthly liability amount payable to a nursing facility. The one-time stimulus payment is not considered income and will not result in a change to your monthly liability amount.
What does this mean for you?
While it remains critical that the balance in a Recipient’s bank account NEVER exceed $2,000 on the first day of any given month, the stimulus check deposited is not included in this balance. While you can now essentially keep up to $3,200 ($2,000 asset limit + $1,200 stimulus check) in your account without penalty, we strongly recommend maintaining accounts at a balance of approximately $1,500.00 to avoid any unforeseen errors.
If you have any questions about the information provided or obtaining Medicaid eligibility for yourself or a loved one, please contact our office for assistance.
New Smartphone App for Health Care Decision-makers
The American Bar Association has launched a new app to help keep key health care decision-making information close at hand. Mind Your Loved Ones is available in all app stores and allows the user to keep copies of health care documents, such as powers of attorney, health care consents, living wills, and POST (physician’s order on the scope of treatment) forms on their smartphones, along with lists of medications, doctors and insurance information. Because there is no limit to the number of profiles in the app, you can keep this important information for your spouse, children, parents, and any loved one you are caring for. Documents stored in the app can easily be shared via email, text, or fax. For more information on the Mind Your Loved Ones App visit the ABA website.
Author: Kahlyn N. Barcevic is an estate planning, estate administration, and elder law associate at Tuesley Hall Konopa, LLP. Kahlyn helps clients with wills, trusts, special needs trusts, guardianships, powers of attorney, and long-term care planning including Medicaid planning.
You can contact Kahlyn by calling 574.232.3538 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.