The “Medicaid Redesign Team” has announced that for the first time in the past two years the “community spouse minimum and maxim resource allowance” will experience an increase in 2012. Currently, the spouse of an institutionalized individual receiving Medicaid nursing home care coverage is permitted to retain a maximum of $109,560.00 in resources while receiving a maximum maintenance needs allowance of $2,739.00. At the start of the New Year these figures will increase to $113,640 and $2,841 respectfully.

Moreover, for those receiving Medicaid and Social Security Income as their only sources of income, New York State will begin an automated renewal program. A select few will be chosen for this program and must be over the age of 18. These changes could not have come at a more opportune time as statics show that private pay nursing home rates have risen 4.4 percent in the last year while assisted living facility costs jumped 5.6 percent.

– Stefanie L. DeMario, J.D. (NY Bar admission pending, NJ Bar admission pending).