Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Implications of the ABLE Act for State Medicaid Programs

Dana Halvorson

According to a September 7, 2017, email update from Medicaid.gov, “the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing guidance to states on how to treat ‘ABLE’ accounts in Medicaid financial eligibility determinations. The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (the ABLE Act), enacted in 2015, created a program under which people with disabilities can save money for their disability-related expenses in tax-advantaged accounts.  Because disability can serve as a basis for Medicaid eligibility, many individuals who apply for Medicaid on the basis of having a disability may be interested in opening an ABLE account, and this letter provides guidance to states on the treatment of funds in, contributions to, and distributions from an ABLE account for purposes of Medicaid eligibility.” The letter is available here. AHCA supported the passage of the ABLE Act in Congress.   

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