Text Size:

CT NAELA Instrumental in Passage of Elder Law Legislation

June 2, 2010

The Connecticut chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (“CT NAELA”) is proud to announce that Public Act 10-73, An Act Concerning Medicaid Long-Term Care Coverage For Married Couples, was signed into law by Governor Rell on May 27, 2010. CT NAELA drafted the new law and was its main proponent.

The new law allows the well spouse of an individual needing long term care in a nursing home or at home to keep the home residence, a car and all of the couple’s assets, up to $109,560.00 in 2010; the ill spouse is immediately eligible for Medicaid/Title 19.   Under the old law, if one spouse was in the nursing home or needed home and community based long term care services, the well spouse still living at home could keep the home, a car, but only one-half of the couple’s other assets, or $109,560.00 in 2010, whichever was less. The remaining one-half of the couple’s assets had to be spent-down in order for the ill spouse to be eligible for Medicaid. For example, if a couple had $80,000.00 in assets in addition to their home and car, under the old law, the well spouse could only keep one-half of the $80,000.00,or $40,000.00, and the remaining $40,000.00 had to be spent-down before the ill spouse would be eligible for Medicaid. Under the new law, the well spouse can keep the house, car and all of the couple’s assets, up to $109,560.00 in 2010, and not have to spend-down anything, and the ill spouse will be immediately eligible for Medicaid/Title 19.

The second part of the bill allows an individual or a couple to take out a reverse mortgage loan, home equity loan or other loan financing, deposit those loan proceeds into a separate account and not have the loan proceeds counted as assets or income for an individual applying for home or community based long term care services under a Medicaid waiver. Under the old law, the proceeds of a reverse mortgage or home equity loan were counted as assets and income and made individual ineligible to receive long term home care services at home.

View the Bill (PDF)