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Potential Changes to Medicaid Long-Term Care Spousal Impoverishment Rules: States’ Plans and Implications for Community Integration

Congress created the Medicaid spousal impoverishment rules to protect a portion of a married couple’s income and assets to provide for the “community spouse’s” living expenses when determining nursing home financial eligibility. Originally, states had the option to also apply the rules to home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers. Section 2404 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is set to expire on December 31, 2018, changed the spousal impoverishment rules to treat Medicaid HCBS and institutional care equally. This issue brief answers key questions about the spousal impoverishment rules, presents selected 50-state data from a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation survey about state policies and future plans in this area, and considers the implications if Congress does not extend Section 2404.

Medicare Open Enrollment FAQs

This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Medicare Open Enrollment covers a range of topics related to Medicare enrollment, Medicare Advantage, Part D, Medigap, employer/retiree coverage, Medicaid and other low-income assistance, Medicare and the Marketplaces, and more.

How Might Older Nonelderly Medicaid Adults with Disabilities Be Affected By Work Requirements in Section 1115 Waivers?

Most of the states with approved or pending Section 1115 waivers that condition Medicaid eligibility on work would apply those requirements to all or most nonelderly adults (ages 19-64) who are not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash assistance, including older nonelderly adults (ages 50-64). Older nonelderly adults may be limited in their ability to satisfy a work requirement due to barriers resulting from age and/or disability. Previous analysis shows that many nonelderly Medicaid adults (ages 19-64) have functional limitations that may interfere with their ability to work but do not rise to the stringent SSI level of disability, making them potentially subject to work requirements. Older nonelderly adults are over twice as likely to have a disability than younger adults (17% vs. 7%). Furthermore, older nonelderly adults account for nearly half (45%) of all nonelderly Medicaid adults with a disability but not SSI who could be affected by a work requirement. This analysis examines the implications of work requirements for Medicaid adults ages 50 to 64 (referred to as “older nonelderly Medicaid adults”) and provides national and state level estimates of their disability, SSI, and work status using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS).

Data Note: Data Do Not Support Relationship Between Medicaid Expansion Status and Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Waiting Lists

Some have said that state choices about whether to adopt the ACA’s Medicaid expansion come at the expense of providing Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). Since 2002, the Kaiser Family Foundation has surveyed states about their HCBS waiver waiting lists. All states offer at least one HCBS waiver for seniors and people with disabilities today. States choose how many people to serve under these waivers, and their ability to limit enrollment can result in waiting lists when the number of people seeking services exceeds the number of waiver slots. This analysis examines the most recent data available, including HCBS waiver waiting list data for 2015 and 2016. The data do not support a relationship between a state’s Medicaid expansion status, which is primarily financed with federal funds, and changes in its HCBS waiver waiting list.

Medicaid’s Role for Children with Special Health Care Needs: A Look at Eligibility, Services, and Spending

This issue brief describes the role that Medicaid plays for children with special health care needs. It explains common eligibility pathways, covered services, and program spending for these children. The Appendix includes 50-state data on the number of children with special health care needs covered by Medicaid/CHIP. A companion brief compares key characteristics of Medicaid/CHIP children with special health care needs to those covered by private insurance.

How Do Medicaid/CHIP Children with Special Health Care Needs Differ from Those with Private Insurance?

This issue brief compares the demographics, health status, access to care, and coverage affordability of Medicaid/CHIP children with special health care needs to those with private insurance and those who are uninsured. Medicaid plays a key role for children with special health care needs by making coverage affordable and covering services that private coverage typically does not. Consequently, legislative proposals that would cap and reduce federal Medicaid funding may pose a particular risk to children with special health care needs and their providers. While Congress did not pass such legislation in 2017, these proposals may resurface in 2018, and the Trump Administration’s FY 2019 proposed budget continues to advance these proposals. A companion brief describes Medicaid’s role for children with special health care needs.

Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services: Results From a 50-State Survey of Enrollment, Spending, and Program Policies

This report summarizes the national trends to emerge from the latest (2014) enrollment and spending data for the three main Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) programs: (1) the mandatory home health services state plan benefit, (2) the optional personal care services state plan benefit, and (3) optional § 1915 (c) HCBS waivers. It also highlights key findings on 2016 program policies, such as waiting lists, managed long-term services and supports, and provider payment rates.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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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.