ASSEMBLY, No. 2924
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED MAY 5, 1997
By Assemblywoman FRISCIA
An Act concerning assets and income of spouses of certain Medicaid recipients.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. The Commissioner of Human Services shall amend the State plan for the Medicaid program established pursuant to P.L.1968, c.413 (C.30:4D-1 et seq.), to provide that in the case of a married qualified applicant who is institutionalized, the share of the couple's resources available to the spouse remaining in the community and the income of the spouse remaining in the community shall be the maximum amount permitted by federal law. The amendment to the State plan shall conform to the provisions of the "Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988," Pub.L.100-360. The commissioner shall adjust the resource and income limits, subject to annual indexing.
b. The commissioner shall submit the State plan amendment to the federal Department of Health and Human Services for approval within 60 days of the effective date of this act.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill addresses the problem of "spousal impoverishment" under the Medicaid program when one spouse is institutionalized and the other remains in the community.
The bill directs the State Medicaid program to adopt options permitted under the federal "Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988" which allow a State to increase the amount of resources and the monthly income that a spouse living in the community may retain while the other spouse is in an institution and qualifies for Medicaid to the maximum amount permitted by federal law. At present, the State allows the community spouse to retain $1,295 in monthly income and to retain the greater of $15,804 or one-half of resources up to $79,020. The State could raise the allowed amounts by submitting an amendment to its State plan for Medicaid, to the federal government for its approval.
Accordingly, this bill directs the Commissioner of Human Services to amend the State plan for Medicaid to provide that the community spouse's share of the couple's resources and monthly income levels will be the maximum amount permitted by federal law.
Directs Medicaid to establish community spouse resource allowance and income limits at highest levels permitted by federal law.