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Recent Changes in Ohio's Medicaid Laws and STABLE accounts

February 27, 2017, by Daniel McGowan, on Probate Law and Procedure |

Last summer Ohio terminated the 209(b) option and joined 34 other states to become a "1634" state.  This has several advantages for Ohio seniors:  First, under the 1634 transition, applicants now are only required to complete and submit one application for determination of eligibility for both SSI and Medicaid.  If one is eligible for SSI, he or she is automatically enrolled in Medicaid.    The Ohio Department of Medicaid has labeled the 1634 transition the "Disability Determination redesign" ("DDR'). 

Another advantage (although minor) is that an individual Medicaid beneficiary may retain resources of $2,000 (up from $1,500).  However, as a 1634 state, Medicaid eligibility will now be based on SSI eligibility criteria, one of which is a monthly income cap or threshold.  For individuals receiving Medicaid benefits through a waiver program their income must not exceed $733, or for individuals in an institution, their income must not exceed $2, 199 9300% of the Federal Benefit Rate).  Recipients who earn more than the income cap per month in Social Security, pension benefits, Veterans benefits, or other income, must establish a QIT to avoid losing eligibility for their Medicaid coverage. 

A QIT (also called a Miller Trust) is a trust into which income in excess of 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate can be directed so the beneficiary i not automatically disqualified form eligibility for Medicaid benefits.  The practical aspects of QIT's are that they are critical for Medicaid recipients who: (1) are receiving community Medicaid and whose montly income exceeds $733; and (2) are receiving institutional Medicaid and whose montly income exceeds $2,199.