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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.

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COVID-19 Has Claimed the Lives of 100,000 Long-Term Care Residents and Staff

More than 100,000 residents and staff have died in long-term care facilities since the start of the pandemic. This post discusses the implications of the likely rise in cases due to holiday gatherings and the share of total COVID-19 deaths that have happened in long-term care facilities.

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January 14 Web Event: A Shot in the Arm For Long-Term Care Facilities? Early Lessons from the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout to High Priority Populations

With the pandemic taking a heavy toll among older Americans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and most states have placed a high priority on vaccinating residents and staff of long-term care facilities. People in nursing homes and other long-term care settings account for 6 percent of cases but…

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State Medicaid Programs Respond to Meet COVID-19 Challenges: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. The findings are drawn from the 20th annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by KFF and Health Management Associates (HMA), in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD). This report focuses on Medicaid policy changes planned for FY 2021, particularly those related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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.