A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in April would change the way income from a community spouse’s annuity is counted for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Rep. Markwayne Mullen (R-Okla.) introduced a section amending Medicaid law that would provide that if the annuity pays income solely in the community spouse’ name, one-half of the income would be considered available to the institutionalized spouse. The same would hold true if the annuity paid income to both the institutionalized spouse and the community spouse. Currently, ill spouses are limited to $2,000 but Medicaid eligible annuities can shelter a well spouse’s assets and help keep them below the allowable resources in order to allow the ill spouse to qualify for Medicaid and protect the assets of the well spouse.
The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.