The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the 2007 federal guidelines for how much money the spouses of institutionalized Medicaid (known in California as Medi-Cal) recipients may keep.
In 2007, the spouse of a Medi-Cal recipient living in a nursing home (called the "community spouse") may keep as much as $101,640 without jeopardizing the Medi-Cal eligibility of the spouse who is receiving long-term care. When a spouse needs to keep more, a court order may be sought.
The maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance for 2007 will be $2,541. This is the most in monthly income that a community spouse is allowed to have if her own income is not enough to live on and she must take some or all of the institutionalized spouse's income. Bear in mind that these figures apply only if the community spouse needs to take income from the institutionalized spouse. According to Medicaid law, the community spouse may keep all her own income, even if it exceeds the maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance.
The new numbers take effect on January 1, 2007.
Thank you to Elder Law Answers for the update.