A Roundup of Key Elder Law Numbers for 2009

Below are figures for 2009 that are frequently used in the elder law practice, including the new Medicaid spousal impoverishment figures and the long-term care insurance deductibility limits.

Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2009
The minimum community spouse resource allowances (CSRA) is $21,912 and the new maximum is $109,560. The new maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $2,739. The minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance remains $1,750 until July 1, 2009.

These new figures, effective January 1, 2009, reflect an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 4.9 percent from September 2007 to September 2008.

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion Rises to $13,000
The annual gift tax exclusion will increase from $12,000 to $13,000 effective January 1, 2009, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced.
Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2009
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2009 limitations on the deductibility of long-term care insurance premiums from taxes. Any premium amounts above these limits are not considered to be a medical expense.

Attained age before the close of the taxable year

Maximum deduction

40 or less

$320

More than 40 but not more than 50

$600

More than 50 but not more than 60

$1,190

More than 60 but not more than 70

$3,180

More than 70

$3,980

Benefits from per diem or indemnity policies, which pay a predetermined amount each day, are not included in income except amounts that exceed the beneficiary’s total qualified long-term care expenses or $280 per day (for 2009), whichever is greater.

For details from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, click here.

Medicare Premiums, Deductibles and Copayments for 2009

– Basic Part B premium: $96.40/month (unchanged)
– Part B deductible: $135 (unchanged)
– Part A deductible: $1,068 (was $1,024)
– Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $267/day (was $256)
– Co-payment for hospital stay days 91 and beyond: $534/day (was $512)
– Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $133.50/day (was $128)

Premiums for higher-income beneficiaries:

– Individuals with annual incomes between $85,000 and $107,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $170,000 and $214,000 in 2009 will pay a monthly premium of $134.90.
– Individuals with annual incomes between $107,000 and $160,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $214,000 and $320,000 in 2009 will pay a monthly premium of $192.70.
– Individuals with annual incomes between $160,000 and $213,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $320,000 and $426,000 in 2009 will pay a monthly premium of $250.50.
– Individuals with annual incomes of $213,000 or more and married couples with annual incomes of $426,000 or more in 2009 will pay a monthly premium of $308.30.

Rates differ for beneficiaries who are married but file a separate tax return from their spouse:

– Those with incomes between $85,000 and $128,000 will pay a monthly premium of $250.50.
– Those with incomes greater than $128,000 will pay a monthly premium of $308.30.

For more information, click here.

Social Security Benefits for 2009

– Cost of Living Increase: 5.8 percent
– Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefit Payable in January 2009: $1,153
– Maximum Taxable Earnings: $106,800
– Maximum Social Security Benefit: $2,323/mo.

Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts:

– Under full retirement age: $14,160/yr.
– The year an individual reaches full retirement age: $37,680/yr.

SSI Federal Payment Standard:

– Individual: $674/mo.
– Couple: $1,011/mo

For further information on understanding these figures and how they will affect your unique situation, please do not hesitate to contact The Farr Law Firm today.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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