Medi-Cal qualification will be easier in 2012 for married couples as a result of new numbers released this week.
After two years without an increase, the community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) and maximimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (MMMNA) numbers will go up for 2012, according to an announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The increase affects the amounts of income and assets that married applicants can have and still qualify for Medicaid nationwide. While each state is allowed to set its own limits within the range specified by CMS, California historically allows the maximum amount of assets and income permissible under federal law.
Assuming California adopts the new maximums, which is likely, the CSRA will increase to $113,640 on January 1, 2012, and the MMMNA will increase to $2,841 on July 1, 2012.
Californians will welcome the new MMMNA amount, which reflects a 54 percent increase over current numbers - a hefty increase considering that the new numbers are based on an annual Consumer Price Index of 3.7 percent.
The CMS announcement also included an increase in the maximum allowable home equity from $750,000 to $786,000. California has not yet implemented the 2006 law imposing maximum home equity amounts. However, the new numbers will help soften the blow once California does implement.