Medicaid benefits increase January 1

A number of important Medicaid figures will increase as of January 1, 2012.

Most of the changes are figures that are typically adjusted every January. (Others change July 1, October 1, or at a lesser interval.)

Many reflect a 3.6% cost-of-living increase, the first since 2009.

One change is Pennsylvania’s penalty divisor, which will now be $8,112.13/month or $266.70/day. The penalty divisor is a figure used to calculate how long a Medicaid applicant will be ineligible for making a gift made during the look-back period. It is based on the state’s calculation of the average cost of nursing home care in Pennsylvania.

Figures for the community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) also increased. The new minimum is $22,728 and the new maximum is $113,640.

The monthly maintenance needs allowance (MMNA) has a new maximum figure of $2,841/month. The minimum MMNA gets adjusted in July.

Other new figures affect aspects of Medicaid that are more technical, and are mainly of interest to caseworkers, elder law attorneys, and others who work with Medicaid cases regularly:

Home maintenance deduction:  $720.10 (6 month limit)

Income figure to determine resource limit ($2,400 or $8,000):  $2,094/month

Excess home equity limit: $525,000

All these figures have been added to our complete list of current Medicaid figures, which you can always find on our website.