SMART Bill Update

Yesterday, May 24, Senate Bill 2840 passed both the Illinois House and Senate, and will shortly be signed into law by the governor.   The bill makes the following changes to the Medicaid eligibility rules:

  • Individuals over the age of 65 will no longer be able to participate in OBRA pooled trusts, unless they are a ward of the State or County Public Guardian;
  • Property held in trust (even a revocable living trust) will no longer be considered exempt homestead property, even if the spouse or other qualified individual resides there;
  • DHFS may refuse to grant assistance to an applicant whose spouse refuses to disclose his or her assets;
  • The Community Spouse Resource Allowance has been set at $109,560.00, and the monthly income allowance has been set at $2,739.00.  While these amounts are much higher than what was originally proposed in SB 2840, they are lower than the current Federal rate, and it is unclear whether or not these rates will be adjusted annually for inflation, as they previously have been;
  • DHFS will be able to pursue support payments from the Community Spouse.

Our office will continue to monitor this legislation, and to advocate for trailer legislation in the near future.  We encourage you to contact your legislators to express your concerns about this legislation.  You can search for your representatives here: http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/districtofficialsearchbyaddress.aspx

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