New 2020 Spousal Impoverishment and Home Equity Limits

We do a lot of planning for married couples who are interested in protecting family assets from future long term care spending.  When the time comes for one spouse or the other to move to a nursing home, there is often fear that the spouse who remains at home, referred to as the “Community Spouse,” will be impoverished and that all assets will be expended on the care of the institutionalized spouse.  

In response to these concerns, Congress previously enacted legislation to prevent spousal impoverishment. This legislation was designed to protect the spouse who is still living at home in the community from being left with little or no income or resources so that he or she can live out his or her life with independence and dignity.

The Medicaid spousal impoverishment provisions provide that a certain amount of the couple’s combined resources is protected for the community spouse (i.e., protected from the Medicaid spend-down requirements).

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the new 2020 Spousal Impoverishment Standards.  These figures are an integral part of our planning process each year. 

By using the figures listed below to his or her advantage, a Community Spouse can routinely protect tens of thousands of dollars from being spent on the institutionalized spouse’s care.  All the while, the institutionalized spouse will qualify for Medicaid and receive similar or identical care.  It is very important that you contact our office or another experienced attorney to review your case and to assist with the application process.  

Below are the official impoverishment allowances for 2020:

Minimum Community Spouse Resource Allowance $25,728
Maximum Community Spouse Resource Allowance $128,640
Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance $3,216
Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (until July 1, 2020) $2,113.75

Home Equity Limits:

Minimum $595,000
Maximum $893,000

The attorneys at UTBF stand ready to assist you with any questions related to Medicaid and the spend-down requirements, as well as other Elder Law issues that you may be experiencing.

As always, we are available to answer questions and assist you with Medicaid and Elder Law issues. Please contact our office at (610) 933–8069.

Check out our other great articles throughout this site that more specifically address the different ways to protect and preserve your assets.  Click here for more articles!

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For assistance developing a comprehensive estate plan or nursing home asset protection plan in Pennsylvania, please contact Douglas L. Kaune, Esquire at (610) 933–8069 or email him at Doug’s entire practice is focused on elder law, Medicaid application, estate planning, trust planning, estate administration and protection of clients’ assets from nursing home spending and estate and inheritance taxation. Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees, P.C. is a full-service law firm that has three convenient office locations in Phoenixville, West Chester, and Paoli, Pennsylvania. The firm primarily services clients in Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, Philadelphia, Bucks, and Berks Counties, but can represent clients throughout Pennsylvania.