There has been a quite notable change to the ABLE program in Maryland, which actually came into effect on June 1 of this year. The change was designed to be more generous to beneficiaries and goes further than federal regulations in taking consumers’ needs into account.

Thanks to a couple of little tweaks in the rules the state can now no longer look to get reimbursement for any medical assistance paid to a beneficiary with an ABLE account should that beneficiary die with funds still in his account. Along with that provision the beneficiary or an authorized representative can specify where the remaining funds are to go. They can be transferred into someone else’s ABLE account or they can just become part of the beneficiary’s estate.

While the above changes were instituted by the Maryland Assembly the house bill that brought about those changes, HB 782 for those who need to know these things, also acknowledged and conformed to federal law changes relating to account contributions and rollovers from 529 plans.

Now anyone with an ABLE account who’s also working can contribute up to an extra $12,140 a year into the account. This means that while beneficiaries who aren’t working can only have $15,000 contributed each year, working beneficiaries can pay into the account up to $27,140. The rather random looking figure of $12,140 is the current annual Federal Poverty Level for an individual.

The other federal modification now allows beneficiaries to rollover up to $15,000 from state-sponsored college savings plans known as 529 plans.