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Medicaid eligibility numbers update for 2017

Medicaid provides health care insurance for 4.6 million seniors across the country, including long-term care costs. Most of these seniors also receive some medical benefits from joint enrollment in Medicare.

Sorting out eligibility for these programs can be complicated. We provided some statistics about nursing home costs in Colorado and Medicaid eligibility a number of years ago and wanted to update those numbers for 2017 in this blog post.

Eligibility for single or married individuals

The numbers are available through the Colorado Bar Association. In 2017, the income limit for a single person is $2,206 per month. This has increased a bit from 2011 when it was $2,022. But the asset limit for nonexempt items has not increased at all and remains $2,000.

A community spouse can retain assets called a Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA). The 2017 amount is $120,900 up from $109,560 in 2011. Some other changes to spousal income protection for 2017 include:

  • Basic allowance - $2,002
  • Excess Shelter - $979

However, the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) cannot exceed $3,023.

Nursing home costs across the state

In our FAQ post, we covered average nursing home rates across the state. It’s time for an update and it is not a surprise that they have increased.

  • The average cost in Denver metro counties (Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver & Jefferson) is $8,730 per calendar year (about $730/month).
  • Region II counties average $7,776
  • Region III counties average $7,352
  • Region IV counties average $7,559

Looking back, the 2011 figures were between $5,915 and $6,914. For Denver-metro counties the increase over the last six years has been about 20 percent. And these figures are averages, so they may not truly reflect the cost of long-term care at a preferred facility.

Because of Medicaid recovery statutes, it’s important to start planning well before care is needed. When you or an aging loved one may need additional care in the next decade, schedule a meeting with an elder law attorney to discuss your situation. 

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