Medicaid’s maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance (MMMNA) changes every July. This is the most in monthly income that a spouse living at home (known as the community spouse) is allowed to have when his or her own income is not enough on which to live, allowing him or her to take some or all of the institutionalized spouse’s income. The minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance as of July 2022 for Alabama is $2289 (up from $2178) As an example, a community spouse who has income of $1500 whose spouse entering the nursing home has $2200 in income, would be allowed to keep $789 of the institutionalized spouse’s income each month – enough to bring his or her income up to $2289.
As for resource limits established every January, in 2022 the community spouse may keep as much as $137,400 without jeopardizing the Medicaid eligibility of the spouse who is receiving long-term care. Known as the community spouse resource allowance or CSRA, this is the most that a state may allow a community spouse to retain. While some states set a lower maximum, the least that a state may allow a community spouse to retain in 2022 is $27,480. As of January 2022 Alabama allows the community spouse to keep one-half of the couple’s resources, not to exceed the maximum of $137,400.
If nursing home care is anticipated in the future it is important to calculate the income and resources of a couple to determine the financial impact long term care will have and to plan to retain as much as possible and still qualify for Medicaid coverage.