By Gregory Choi, Barbara Phair, Jeffrey Neuman and Nancy Levitin

In response to the COVID-19 Emergency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Director of the Division of Eligibility and Marketplace Integration have announced clarification on how certain COVID-19 related payments will be treated in terms of Medicaid eligibility determinations.

During the COVID-19 Emergency, eligible individuals have begun receiving so-called stimulus checks in an amount up to $1,200.00 for single adult tax filers, $2,400.00 for married couples filing jointly, and an additional $500.00 per child under age 17. These stimulus payments are not taxable income, and are also not countable as income for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Additionally, the stimulus payments are excluded as a countable resource by Medicaid for twelve (12) months following receipt; however, Medicaid will consider stimulus checks retained for longer than a year as a countable resource when evaluating the recipient’s continued eligibility for medical assistance.

Regarding Unemployment Insurance Benefits, those eligible individuals collecting such benefits will receive an additional weekly compensation payment of $600.00 during the COVID-19 Emergency. For purposes of Medicaid, the regular unemployment insurance benefit payments will continue to be counted as income. The additional weekly compensation payment of $600.00 will be disregarded when determining eligibility for Medicaid, and excluded as a resource for 12 months if retained.

For post-eligibility budgeting purposes, both the stimulus payments and the Pandemic Unemployment compensation payments are not countable income for NAMI calculation purposes.

Should you have specific concerns or questions about any of the above issues as they relate to your facility, feel free to contact Gregory S. Choi, Esq., Barbara S. Phair, Esq., Jeffrey Neuman, Esq., Nancy Levitin, Esq. or any Abrams Fensterman healthcare attorney at (516) 328-2300.