ABCD Welcomes Presenters in January and February

Published On: February 25th, 2022Categories: News

Back with us once again, Brian Brennan, Esq, Administrator for Medicaid’s Institutional Support Services joined the DDA Meeting in January. In addition to answering questions from attendees, Brian focused on Medicaid eligibility and how to keep people Medicaid eligible and preparing for the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency (PHE).

The main reasons for Medicaid terminations are resources and failure to produce requested information and documentation. The resource limit for a single person is $2,000. For Medicaid eligibility purposes, any income that a Medicaid applicant receives is counted. To clarify, this income can come from any source. Examples include employment wages, alimony payments, pension payments, Social Security Disability Income, Social Security Income, IRA withdrawals, life insurance policy, and stock dividends. Covid-19 stimulus checks are an exception, as they do not count as income, and therefore, have no impact on Medicaid eligibility. (Note, there is no guidance yet as to how long stimulus payments will be exempt). To qualify when over the limits, consider trusts, ABLE and Choice Accounts.  Brian stressed the importance of providing information when requested as they are seeing more terminations because information is not being provided to Medicaid.  If your agency is helping the person, make sure you know where the money is and how much is being withdrawn and for what reason. Another major reason for termination is in instances when money from trusts is not being withdrawn for the sole benefit of the client.

States are required to keep people enrolled in Medicaid PHE as a condition of receiving a temporary increase in the federal share of Medicaid costs. When the PHE ends the enhanced federal funding will end and states will resume administering renewals for Medicaid eligibility, some of which have been pending for more than 16 months. New Jersey has been keeping track of individuals who are no longer eligible, but still enrolled during the PHE.  About 300-400 individuals have been tagged as having too many resources and/or not providing requested information (Medicaid assumes if an individual has failed to produce information in the past, they will do so in the future), but they may not be aware as they have received no letter from Medicaid to this effect. If agencies are aware of individuals whose eligibility will be redetermined after the PHE, to prevent coverage loss they should use this time to spend down or put into trusts additional resources and gather all information. The good news is that people will not all be terminated at once and if they receive a termination letter, they will receive from 3-6 weeks of continuous coverage which gives them additional time fix the problems cited by Medicaid while remaining covered.

We thank Brian for his support and service to the people we serve and the agencies who serve them and to being a great partner and friend to ABCD.

Jessica Cox of DDD’s IT Department joined the February Support Coordination Alliance meeting to discuss electronic signatures, iRecord “Down Time,” bulk information especially for supervisors, inconsistent Medicaid ID #s, prior authorization wait-times, the absolute necessity of validating email addresses, how to get guardianship data cleaned up and how to earmark people’s budget to prevent double dipping. It was a very substantial meeting with many questions, ideas, and suggestions.

Thanks to Jess for working so hard to improve the system and allowing support coordinators to be part of the dialogue. We look forward to having her back soon!

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