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New Brief Examines Potential Changes to Medicaid Long-Term Care “Spousal Impoverishment” Rules

A new brief from KFF (the Kaiser Family Foundation) examines potential changes to “spousal impoverishment” rules in Medicaid that allow married couples to protect a portion of their income and assets should one spouse seek Medicaid coverage for long-term care. A provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires state Medicaid programs to apply such rules to home- and community-based long-term care is set to expire on December 31. That could tip the balance of financial incentives toward institutional care, to which the rules would still apply, and affect the efforts that states have made (through waivers) to expand access to home- and community-based services, the brief explains. Congress may consider legislation to extend the ACA provision in the next few weeks.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.