The California Department of Health Care Services recently announced new Medi-Cal resource numbers for 2019. In All County Welfare Directors Letter (ACWDL) 18-28 the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA) was increased to $126,420 and the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) was increased to $3,161 for 2019. The CSRA is the amount of non-exempt assets that the spouse of a Medi-Cal applicant (the Community Spouse) may own. The MMMNA is the target amount of income for the Community Spouse. If the Community Spouse’s income is below the MMMNA, some or all of the Medi-Cal recipient spouse’s income will be allocated to the Community Spouse if necessary to bring the Community Spouse’s income up to the MMMNA.
In addition, in ACWDL 19-07, the Average Private Pay Rate (APPR) was increased to $9,337 for 2019. The APPR is the divisor used to determine the penalty period assessed against a Medi-Cal applicant when gifting was done to achieve eligibility. For example, if a $50,000 gift was made by the Medi-Cal applicant to his child, the penalty period is $50,000 ÷ $9,337 = 5.36, or a penalty of 5 months (Medi-Cal rounds down).
Medi-Cal eligibility planning is very complicated. A mistake can result in long periods of ineligibility. Please consult with an attorney before making any plans or transfers.