In June 2022 we delightedly reported the scrapping of income and resource limits for the hugely popular Medicaid Buy-in program and work incentive Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID). Eight short months later we learned that the tight-fisted hands at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had not approved such a measure and we were back with income and resource limits once more. However, it would seem that someone at the CMS was recently visited by three ghosts as Maryland is now able to pronounce that, once more, there will be no income limits for EID.
Naturally, there are a couple of caveats to the expansion. Premiums will not exceed $55 for those with earnings under $43,740 but they will be set at 4% of income for those whose income falls between that figure and $65,610; there’s a 5% premium for earners with countable income up to $87, 480; and if your income is higher still the premium is capped at 7.5% of that income.
Significantly, the resource limit of $10,00 for an unmarried individual and $15,000 for a married recipient will remain. However, as of next year, retirement accounts won’t be counted, nor will your spouse’s resources as long as you have no access to them. There is also talk of an Independence Account that you can set up as a way of saving without having it count against you. At the time of writing there’s no information on the EID website about that account but in response to a request for further details Lorie Mayorga, the Deputy Director for Eligibility Policy at the Maryland Department of Health stated “In Maryland, we’ve advised applicants/recipients to open a bank account (of any kind) after they are determined eligible for EID and identify it to Medicaid (by institution and account number) so that it can be disregarded. Deposits during a given year must not exceed the individual’s earned income for that year, but otherwise there are no restrictions; also, an individual can establish more than one (but the deposit limit would apply to all of them together).”
The other cautionary clause states that the new changes only apply once you have your annual redetermination, although it would appear that initial applicants will have no income limits imposed as long as they apply after January 1, 2024.
More good news comes with the announcement that the expansion will now include anyone from the age of 16. Unfortunately, there is no expansion at the other end, which means that you can still only stay on until you’re 65.
Here’s a version of the announcement: EID Public Notice_07.10.2023.pdf (maryland.gov)