L.I.F.E., Inc., Center for Independent Living, in cooperation with an area law firm has assisted three individuals, with more approvals pending, to rid themselves of their costly Medicaid spend-down.
By using a tool called a Qualified Income Trust, also known as a Miller Trust, these residents are among the first to obtain Medicaid benefits without a spend-down for a monthly income in excess of $1,281.
According to L.I.F.E. representatives, when using the Miller Trust an individual 63 or older can set aside that excess income in a special bank account. For example, someone with a monthly income of $1,300 would have typically faced a monthly spend-down of over $400. By depositing as little as $20 in a Miller Trust bank account each month, the spend-down requirement would be eliminated. Currently, money placed in the trust must be used for medical-related expenses.
Because the program is new to elderly Missourians, the area attorney assisting L.I.F.E., Inc. anticipates changes in the policy that will allow for greater flexibility.
This recent development will potentially affect tens of thousands of people who have fallen through the cracks of the Medicaid system.
Contact the L.I.F.E. Center at 573-756-4314 for further information about a Miller Trust.