In January of each year, the Department of Human Services (DHS) typically releases the updated figures for Medicaid qualification. For the past couple of years however, we have not seen any increases similar to the absence of a cost of living increase for Social Security benefits. For 2012, just as Social Security recipients received a slight increase, DHS has also increased its Medicaid figures – at least most of them.
The maximum spousal share is the maximum amount of countable assets that the at-home spouse is allowed to keep. For 2011, the amount was $109,560. For 2012, the maximum spousal share has increased to $113,640. This means that if a married couple has $227,280 or more in countable assets, the at-home spouse will now be able to keep $113,640. There is also a minimum spousal share which has been increased for 2012 to $22,728. In other words, if a married couple has 45,456 or less in countable assets, the at home spouse will be able to keep $22,728.
The Medicaid rules also allow for a Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. This is the minimum amount of income that the at-home spouse is allowed. For 2011, the minimum allowance that the at-home spouse was allowed was $1,822. Beginning January 2012, the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance is $1,838.
There is also a Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. This is the amount of income that the community spouse is allowed to keep if his or her home related expenses are high enough. Let’s say there is a community spouse whose home is mortgaged requiring a monthly payment of $1,000. This at-home spouse would be entitled to more than the $1,838 minimum. In 2012, the Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance for the community spouse is increased to $2,841.
In 2011, the limit on irrevocable funeral contracts was $11,466. For 2012, the limit on irrevocable funeral contracts remains unchanged at $11,466. Also, the amount a person can assign for funeral expenses under a life insurance policy has not been increased for 2012 and remains at $9,466.00.