Medicaid Eligibility Expands for Elderly, Blind, Disabled

Estate Planning Practice Group

By Estate Planning Practice Group

The elderly, blind, and individuals with disabilities will now find it a little easier to qualify for Medicaid benefits – and to keep slightly more of their savings.

With the passing of Missouri House Bill 1565, which amended section 208.010 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, beginning in fiscal 2018 (effective July 1, 2017) the asset limit to qualify for Medicaid coverage increased to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for married couples living together. The asset limits will continue to increase through fiscal 2021 until asset limits reach $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.

By increasing the asset limits, by the end of 2021 an additional 10,000 Missourians will be eligible for Medicaid benefits–including in-home and community-based services. In addition to expanded coverage, the increased asset limits allow for current beneficiaries to hold more funds in savings without compromising Medicaid eligibility.

Previously, asset limits were capped at $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for married couples living together. At such strict limits, beneficiaries are not only limited in their ability to work and live independently, but also in their ability to plan for future health needs or emergencies. While the increase is small, it represents the first increase in the limit for Missouri residents since 1967.

To ensure asset limits remain at appropriate levels, cost-of-living adjustments will occur each year beginning in fiscal 2022.

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