Ask the Expert: 2015 Key Medicaid Dollar Amounts

Q. Every year your firm provides the key dollar amounts that are frequently used in elder law, including Medicaid figures, long-term care insurance deductibility limits, Medicare premiums, Social Security Disability, and Supplemental Security Income. Are these figures available for 2015 yet and, if so, can you tell me what some of the changes are for the coming year? Thank you very much!

A. Yes, most of these figures have been released and we are happy to provide details on what has changed for the coming year! The complete 2015 dollar amounts are available on our website. Be sure to check back often, as we will add any information that has not yet been released and update the page should any changes occur (e.g. the Minimum Monthly Income Allowance adjustment is updated annually on July 1).

2015 Medicaid Figures:

In 2014 and continuing into 2015, Medicaid programs have become more focused on better ways to deliver long-term care services and supports by expanding home and community-based service programs. More states have been able to implement provider rate increases as well as benefit increases as the economy has continued to slowly recover. A recent Kaiser Foundation Report summarizes key changes in 2014/15 as improvements in delivery systems, provider payments and taxes, benefits, pharmacy programs, program integrity and program administration. Read the Kaiser report for details.

When it comes to key dollar amounts, the amounts that have changed are denoted below. Please keep in mind that the Medicaid Divestment Penalty Divisor for Northern Virginia and the rest of the state has not yet been released. Neither has the Monthly Personal Allowance for Elderly or Disabled with Consumer Direction (EDCD) or the Utility Standard. We will update our website as soon as this information becomes available.

Spousal Impoverishment Standards

Minimum Community Spouse Resource Allowance
2015: $23,844
2014: $23,448

Maximum Community Spouse Resource Allowance
2015: $119,220
2014: $117,240

Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance
2015: $2,980.50
2014: $2,931

Minimum Monthly Income Allowance: The total Minimum Monthly Income Allowance remains at $1,966.25 – it will be adjusted on July 1, 2015.

Shelter Standard: $ 589.88
Home Equity Cap: $ 552,000
 
Medicare

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the Medicare program continues to grow stronger and provide important benefits to keep seniors healthy. Among the changes are:

  • Continued savings in the Part D coverage gap: In 2015, if you enter the coverage gap, you’ll pay 45% of the plan’s cost for covered brand-name drugs and 65% of the cost for covered generic drugs.
  • More information for enrollees: You can visit Medicare.gov/find-a-plan for a list of the Medicare health and prescription drug plans that are offered in your area. This list includes premiums, out-of-pocket costs, plan ratings, and more to help you get started finding a plan that meets your individual needs.

According to CMS, millions of people with Medicare have taken advantage of expanded benefits like preventive services, cancer screenings, and yearly “Wellness” visits — without paying a dollar out-of-pocket. Be sure to take advantage of this benefit in 2015.
Below are the numbers that have changed for the coming year:

Medicare Deductibles, Premiums and Co-pays

Medicare Part A Deductible

2015: $1,260 deductible for each benefit period
2014: $1,216 deductible for each benefit period

Medicare Part A Premium

Most people don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A.  However,
if you are one of the small number of people who don’t qualify for free Part A coverage and decide to purchase it on your own, you’ll pay:

2015: $407 each month, which is actually a significant reduction from last year.

Co-payment for hospital stay, days 61-90
2015: $315 per day
2014: $304 per day

Co-payment for hospital stay, days 91 and up
2015: $630 per day
2014: $608 per day

Co-payment for skilled nursing facility stay, days 21-100
2015: $157.50 per day
2014: $152 per day

—–
Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance Premium Deductibility Limits

In 2015 the IRS will once again increase the amounts long-term care insurance customers can deduct from their federal income taxes. The IRS’s premium deductibility limits may assist those who itemize their medical expenses. See below for the maximum deductions based on attained age before the close of the taxable year.

40 or younger
2015: $380/yr
2014: $370/yr

41 to 50
2015: $710/yr
2014: $700/yr

51 to 60
2015: $1,430/yr
2014: $1,400/yr

61 to 70
2015: $3,800/yr
2014: $3,720/yr

Over 70
2015: $4,750/yr
2014: $4,660/yr

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a 1.7 percent COLA for 2015. The increase was preceded by a 1.5 percent COLA for 2014, 1.7 percent COLA for 2013, 3.7% adjustment in 2012, and a 0% adjustment in 2010 and 2011.

—-
Social Security Disability Thresholds   

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

Non-Blind
2015: $1,090/mo.
2014: $1,070/mo.

Blind
2015: $1,820/mo
2014: $1,800/mo

Maximum Social Security Benefit:
Worker Retiring at Full Retirement Age
2015: $2.663/mo.
2014: $2.642/mo.

SSI Federal Payment Standard
Individual
2015: $733/mo.
2014: $721/mo.

Couple
2015: $1,100/mo.
2014: $1,082/mo.

Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefits Payable in January 2015
The 2015 amount is after the 1.7% COLA.

All Retired Workers
2015: $1,328
2014: $1,306

Aged Couple, Both Receiving Benefits
2015: $2,176
2014: $2,140

Widowed Mother and Two Children
2015: $2,680
2014: $2,535

Aged Widow(er) Alone
2015:$1,274
2014: $1,253

Disabled Worker, Spouse and One or More Children
2015: $1,976
2014: $1,943

All Disabled Workers
2015: $1,165
2014: $1,146

Thank you for your interest in these key dollar amounts for 2015. We hope this was helpful! We also hope to see you this month or in the new year at one of our seminars in Fairfax or Fredericksburg.  As always, if you or a loved one is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care, or if you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), please call Farr Law Firm, P.C. in Fairfax at 703-691-1888, in Fredericksburg at 540-479-1435, or in Washington, DC at 202-587-2797 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
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.

Leave a comment

Thank you for your upload