A quick reminder that, with the New Year, many states roll out Medicaid rate changes effective January 1. Make sure to check your state’s 2018 Medicaid income and resource limits, as increase and decreases to those limits can impact your residents’ eligibility for Medicaid. For example, if the income limit in a state increases, it may eliminate the need for a QIT if your residents’ income was above the 2017 limit, but is below the 2018 limit.
Likewise, to the extent a resident receives Social Security benefits, their benefits may increase with the 2% SSA Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), which would impact their patient liability/cost share, and, thus, the amount of money due your facility. However, it’s also important to know that the 2% COLA increase may not result to a net change in a resident’s Social Security monthly benefit amount based on their Medicare Part B premium and whether they were subject to a Social Security law hold-harmless provision that limited Medicare premium increases from reducing Social Security benefits. Rather, your resident’s Medicare Part B premium may increase (up to the max amount of $134), while their Social Security net benefit remains the same.
If you need assistance with determining the impact of these changes on your resident’s eligibility for benefits or their patient liability/cost share, we are here to help.