House Bill Would Make Income from Community Spouse’s Annuity Available to Medicaid Applicant

New legislation in the U.S. Congress would change the way income from a community spouse’s annuity is counted for the purposes of Medicaid eligibility. The bill would make a portion of the income available to the institutionalized spouse.

In April 2015, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) introduced H.R. 1771 to amend the section of the Medicaid law dealing with the treatment of income (42 U.S.C. 1396r–5(b)(2)). The proposed amendment would provide that if the annuity pays income solely in the community spouse’s name, one-half of the income will be considered available to the institutionalized spouse. The same thing is true if the annuity pays income to both the institutionalized spouse and the community spouse. If the annuity pays income to the community spouse and another person, then one-half of the community spouse’s portion will be considered available to the institutionalized spouse. Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann, a Monmouth County Elder Law Firm, responds with the following reaction. “The politicians should leave the system alone! Medicaid leaves community spouses with a minimal financial income. They need all the monthly support they can get.”

The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

To read the proposed amendment, click here.

To discuss your NJ Medicaid matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.