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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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Medicare Beneficiaries Spent an Average of $5,460 Out-of-Pocket for Health Care in 2016, With Some Groups Spending Substantially More 

The average person with traditional Medicare coverage paid $5,460 out of their own pocket for health care in 2016, according to a new KFF analysis and interactive tool. This $5,460 includes about $1,000 in out-of-pocket spending for long-term care facility services, averaged across all traditional Medicare beneficiaries.  Such services are…

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How Much Do Medicare Beneficiaries Spend Out of Pocket on Health Care?

This analysis presents the most current data on out-of-pocket health care spending by Medicare beneficiaries, both overall and among different groups of beneficiaries. The analysis explores how much Medicare beneficiaries spend out of pocket in total on health care premiums and health-related services, on average; how much beneficiaries spend out of pocket on different types of health-related services; and what share of income beneficiaries spend on out-of-pocket health care costs.

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A View from the States: Key Medicaid Policy Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. The findings are drawn from the 19th annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Health Management Associates (HMA), in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD). This report highlights certain policies in place in state Medicaid programs in FY 2019 and policy changes implemented or planned for FY 2020.

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Key State Policy Choices About Medical Frailty Determinations for Medicaid Expansion Adults

This issue brief answers 3 key questions and provides new data about state medical frailty determinations, which are assuming greater importance as more states adopt restrictive Section 1115 waivers that exempt medically frail enrollees from policies such as work requirements and premiums. The findings are excerpted from our 50-state survey on Medicaid financial eligibility for seniors and people with disabilities.

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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.

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Key Questions About Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Waiting Lists

This issue brief presents the latest data and answers key questions about HCBS waiver waiting lists from KFF’s annual survey of state Medicaid home- and community-based services programs, including tables with state-level data.

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Medicaid Covers 25 Million Adult Women in the United States

Medicaid’s Role for Women

Changes to Medicaid financing and structure could have significant implications for low-income women’s access to coverage and care. This fact sheet presents key data points describing the current state of the Medicaid program as it affects women.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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States Focus on Quality and Outcomes Amid Waiver Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. Report findings are drawn from the annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This report examines the reforms, policy changes, and initiatives that occurred in FY 2018 and those adopted for implementation for FY 2019 (which began for most states on July 1, 2018). Key areas covered include changes in eligibility, managed care and delivery system reforms, long-term services and supports, provider payment rates and taxes, covered benefits, and pharmacy and opioid strategies.

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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.