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Sometimes the more answers we get, the more questions we have. The same may be true when it comes to Medicaid. Someone who needs help paying for medical care or a nursing home may be relieved to learn that Medicaid offers this type of benefits. Then they learn that the application process is difficult. You have to qualify for Medicaid benefits, and some of the requirements are hard to understand. For example, you may want to learn more about the Medicaid income limit. That’s what we will explore in this blog.

First, what are the basic Medicaid qualifications?

Medicaid offers several programs, each with its own qualifications. For example, Medicaid for Pregnant Women and Medicaid in the Nursing Home target very different groups. That said, Medicaid generally is intended for people with low incomes. Applicants who exceed the Medicaid income limit usually will not qualify for benefits.

What is the current Medicaid income limit?

It varies. The income limit for people who qualify through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is $791 per month / $1,177 for couples.

However, the Medicaid in the Nursing Home program income limit is $2,313 per month for one person. This limit also applies to:

  • Elderly and Disabled Waiver,
  • Independent Living Waiver,
  • Persons with Intellectual Disabilities Waiver, and
  • Technology-Assisted Waiver for Adults.

Effective February 2019, Medicaid uses the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) method of determining income for some programs. For example, the Plan First and Pregnant Women & Children programs calculate income after deductions based on family size:

Family of 1 = $1,520

Family of 2 = $2,058

Family of 3 = $2,596

Family of 4 = $3,133

You may be wondering if Medicaid counts all your income when determining if you are qualified for benefits.

What does Medicaid consider to be income?

Generally, Medicaid counts all the following income toward your Medicaid income limit:

  • Federal taxable wages;
  • Self-employment income;
  • Unemployment compensation;
  • Social Security benefits, including Social Security Disability Income (SSDI);
  • Retirement or pension income;
  • Alimony or spousal support for divorces finalized before January 1, 2019;
  • Capital gains;
  • Investment income;
  • Rental and royalty income; and
  • Untaxed foreign income.

Income that is not counted toward the limit includes:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
  • Veterans’ disability payments,
  • Workers’ Compensation,
  • Proceeds from loans, including student loans; and
  • Child support.

I’m just over Medicaid income limit. Is there anything I can do?

Possibly. Just talk to an experienced Alabama Medicaid lawyer about Medicaid planning and spend-down strategies.

The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law assist their clients with Medicaid and incapacity planning, as well as general estate planning. Contact Bill Miller at 256-251-2137 to schedule an appointment. Though our office is now located at 818 Leighton Avenue in Anniston, we serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.

Also, download a copy of our free e-book, Medicaid Planning in Alabama: What You Need to Know, by clicking here.