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Increasing Medicaid's Stagnant Asset Test For People Eligible For Medicare And Medicaid Will Help Vulnerable Seniors.

Cornelio N, McInerney MP, Mellor JM, Roberts ET, Sabik LM. Increasing Medicaid's Stagnant Asset Test For People Eligible For Medicare And Medicaid Will Help Vulnerable Seniors. Health affairs (Project Hope). 2021 Dec 1; 40(12):1943-1952.

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Low-income Medicare beneficiaries rely on Medicaid for supplemental coverage but must meet income and asset tests to qualify. We examined states'' income and asset tests for full-benefit Medicaid during the period 2006-18 and examined how alternative asset tests would affect eligibility for community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries ages sixty-five and older. Most states have not updated the dollar limit of Medicaid''s asset test since 1989, making the asset test increasingly restrictive in inflation-adjusted terms. We estimated that increasing Medicaid''s asset limit by the Consumer Price Index, to Medicare Savings Program levels, or to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples would increase Medicaid eligibility by 1.7 percent, 4.4 percent, and 7.5 percent, respectively. Simplifying Medicaid''s asset test to focus only on certain high-value assets would increase eligibility by 20.5 percent. Increasing asset limits would lessen restrictions on Medicaid eligibility that arise from stagnant asset tests, broadening eligibility for certain low-income Medicare beneficiaries and allowing them to retain higher, yet still modest, savings.

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