New legislation in the U.S. Congress would change the way income from a community spouse’s annuity is counted for the purposes of Medicaid eligibility. The bill would make a portion of the income available to the institutionalized spouse.
In April 2015, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) introduced H.R. 1771 to amend the section of the Medicaid law dealing with the treatment of income (42 U.S.C. 1396r–5(b)(2)). The proposed amendment would provide that if the annuity pays income solely in the community spouse’s name, one-half of the income will be considered available to the institutionalized spouse. The same thing is true if the annuity pays income to both the institutionalized spouse and the community spouse. If the annuity pays income to the community spouse and another person, then one-half of the community spouse’s portion will be considered available to the institutionalized spouse. The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
To read the proposed amendment, click here.