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Implications of the Expiration of Medicaid Long-Term Care Spousal Impoverishment Rules for Community Integration

To financially qualify for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS), an individual must have a low income and limited assets. In response to concerns that these rules could leave a spouse without adequate means of support when a married individual needs LTSS, Congress created the spousal impoverishment rules in 1988. Originally, these rules required states 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, but gave states the option to apply the rules to home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers.
Section 2404 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed the spousal impoverishment rules to treat Medicaid HCBS and institutional care equally from January 2014 through December 2018. Congress subsequently extended Section 2404 through December 2019. This issue brief answers key questions about the spousal impoverishment rules, presents 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 further extend Section 2404.

Unwinding of the PHE: Maintaining Medicaid for People with Limited English Proficiency

Provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) require states to maintain continuous Medicaid enrollment for enrollees until the end of the month when the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends. When the continuous enrollment requirements end and states resume redeterminations and disenrollments, individuals with LEP may be at increased risk of losing Medicaid coverage or experiencing a gap in coverage due to barriers completing these processes, even if they remain eligible for coverage.

Expanding Medicare to Adults at Age 60 Years—Medicare-for-More?

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt examines the implications of lowering Medicare’s age of eligibility, which is emerging as a potential pathway toward Medicare-for-all or a public option among single-payer advocates. He explores the implications for costs, industry, people and broader reform efforts.

A 50-State Review of Access to State Medicaid Program Information for People with Limited English Proficiency and/or Disabilities Ahead of the PHE Unwinding

This issue brief reviews accessibility of information for people with LEP and people with disabilities provided through state Medicaid websites and call center automated phone trees as of June 16, 2022. The analysis shows that while states have taken some steps to support access to information and applications for people with LEP and people with disabilities, gaps in accessibility remain.

Medicaid 101: What You Need To Know

With some states grappling over whether to expand Medicaid, and Congress facing big decisions about the future of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), this briefing reviewed the basics about both programs, and discuss current issues. Co-hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform, KFF’s Diane Rowland and Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated the discussion.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | 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 San Francisco, California.