OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http://www.cga.ct.gov/ofa

sSB-883

AN ACT CONCERNING A COMMUNITY SPOUSE'S ALLOWABLE ASSETS.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 14 $

FY 15 $

Social Services, Dept.

GF - Cost

See Below

See Below

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill will result in a cost to the Department of Social Services associated with increasing the assets that a community spouse can receive to the maximum amount allowed under federal law ($115,920).

Currently, a community spouse has access to half of the couple's assets as determined by DSS, up to $115,920. For example, if a couple's total counted assets equal $150,000, the community spouse would now keep $115,920 instead of $75,000, reducing the amount available for the institutionalized spouse. It is not known what portions of the institutional spouse's assets are used to cover the cost of their care prior to Medicaid eligibility. However, by reducing the amount available to the institutional spouse, it is likely that they would achieve Medicaid eligibility sooner.

As disposition of a couple's assets prior to Medicaid eligibility is not known, the pace of the accelerated eligibility cannot be known. Based on historical data, there are approximately 150 married Medicaid long-term care enrollees per month (1,800 annually) to which this change may apply. Medicaid nursing home care costs approximately $5,740 per month. Therefore, a month of accelerated eligibility for 150 clients per month would result in an annualized increased Medicaid cost of $10,332,000. The actual costs will depend on the disposition of the couples' assets prior to Medicaid eligibility.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

Sources:

Department of Social Services Cost and Caseload Information