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Wait, so the State DOES Have to be a Beneficiary?!

07/16/2014 8:55 AM

In March of 2013 a Georgia court of appeals held that an annuity purchased by an applicant for Medicaid did not need to designate the state Medicaid agency as a remainder beneficiary, and that the requirement only applied to spouses of applicants (Cook v. Bottesch, Ga. Ct. App., Nos. A13A0006, A12A2268, A12A2269, A12A2506, March 26,...

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Community Spouse Medicaid Annuity Planning: Easy as Pie

07/11/2014 2:54 PM

Each year the states update their spousal impoverishment standards.  This includes but is not limited to the monthly maintenance needs allowance, the shelter standard, and the standard utility allowance.  While those standards and their derivations can be confusing, community spouse planning with annuities doesn’t have to be. Community Spouse Planning Step 1: Determine the Investment...

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What is the MMNA and How Does it Work?

07/11/2014 7:57 AM

The Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMNA) is the minimum amount available to a spouse residing in the community to avoid impoverishment while the institutionalized spouse qualifies for Medicaid. Even to seasoned practitioners, MMNA calculations can still be a mystery. For states that have one standard its pretty simple. For states that have a minimum and...

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What if Both Spouses are in a Nursing Home?

07/09/2014 11:48 AM

In a scenario involving a married couple, statistics show it’s usually the husband that will enter the nursing home first, while the wife continues to reside in the community.  However, on occasion both spouses will be in the nursing home at the same time.  The monthly costs incurred as a result of two nursing home...

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Clark v. Rameker: Inherited IRAs are not “Retirement Funds”

06/17/2014 4:55 PM

In 2010 Ms. Heffron-Clark and her husband filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.  They identified the inherited IRA Ms. Heffron-Clark received from her mother as exempt from the estate in that it was “retirement funds” under 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(c).  Respondents, the bankruptcy trustee, and unsecured creditors of the estate objected to this exemption. The...

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July 2014 Minimum MMNA and Shelter Standard Updates

06/11/2014 10:22 AM

Yesterday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an Informational Bulletin of the revised 2014 Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Standards.  Effective July 1st, the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance and Shelter Standard for community spouses will be changing. The Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance will be increasing to $1,966.25 from $1,939 ($2,457.50 for Alaska and...

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Matrangolo v. Velez: Denial of Preliminary Injunction to Prevent Court from Considering Annuity a Resource

06/10/2014 10:45 AM

A U.S. District Court in New Jersey denied a Medicaid applicant’s motion for preliminary injunction to prevent the state from considering the applicant’s Medicaid Compliant Annuity as a countable resource in determining her Medicaid eligibility. The Plaintiff, an 88-year-old woman residing in a nursing home, had proceeded with a gifting plan involving a Medicaid Compliant...

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How-To Video: What Resources are Exempt for Medicaid?

06/04/2014 8:58 AM

The resources of a Medicaid applicant, and spouse, whether owned jointly or separately, are scrutinized when one is applying for Medicaid. Over the next four minutes you’ll learn what assets are generally excluded in determining eligibility for Medicaid benefits. Click here for a printer-friendly version.

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Zahner Update: Appellant’s Brief Submitted

06/02/2014 4:22 PM

By this point you are most likely familiar with the Zahner case.  In January of this year the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania determined that Transmittal 64 indicated annuities may be considered “trust-like” devices and in the spirit of the annuity analysis, the annuity must pass the “sniff-test” in order...

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The Million Dollar Question: IRA Beneficiaries in Medicaid Planning

05/28/2014 8:40 AM

In the majority of states an IRA is countable for both the institutionalized individual and community spouse.  In order to protect the IRA from a Medicaid spend-down and qualify the institutionalized individual for Medicaid benefits, a tax-qualified Medicaid Compliant Annuity may be purchased.  Two options exist to fund a tax-qualified Medicaid Compliant Annuity and avoid...

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