Governor Quinn Signs SMART Act

On June 14, 2012, Governor Quinn, signed Senate Bill 2840, the SMART Act (Saving Medicaid Access and Resources Together Act).  As previously reported, the SMART Act makes significant and harsh changes to the Medicaid eligibility rules for individuals applying for Medicaid assistance for long-term care.  Most of the changes included in the SMART Act are effective immediately.  Pursuant to the SMART Act:

— The Community Spouse Resource Allowance is now set at $109,560.00, and the monthly income allowance is set at $2,739.00.  The language in the SMART Act does NOT include a provision for the annual adjustment of these amounts, which are both lower than the current maximum Federal allowances;

— 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; and

— Homestead property held in a trust (even a revocable living trust) will no longer be considered exempt homestead property.

In addition to the above highlights, the SMART Act makes other substantial changes that will negatively impact senior citizens, and other individuals, in need of Medicaid assistance for long-term care.   Accordingly, our office will continue to advocate for trailer legislation to minimize the negative impact of the SMART Act upon the senior citizens of Illinois.  Should you share our concerns, we encourage you to contact your legislators to also express your concerns.  You can search for your representatives here:

www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/districtofficialsearchbyaddress.aspx

To learn more about how the SMART Act will impact you or your loved one, we encourage you to seek specific legal advice.  To speak with one of the attorneys at our office regarding the SMART Act, or other elder law and/or estate planning issues, please call the Elder Law Center at 630-844-0065 or contact us via email. The Elder Law Center is located in Aurora, IL, Kane County, in the Chicago Western Suburbs.

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