Significantly Increased 2023 Medicaid Income Levels Will Affect Pooled Income Trust Users

In December of 2022, the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Human Resources Administration (HRA) sent out over 140,000 notices to Medicaid recipients with surplus income. Some of our clients received one of these notices.

The purpose of the notice was to inform the Medicaid recipients with 'surplus income' (the amount that would be required to be spent toward the cost of your care OR deposited into a Pooled Income Trust), that there was a new income limit for 2023.  The new limit significantly increased the amount of income which Medicaid recipients are permitted to keep in their personal accounts before making any contributions to a Pooled Income Trust.

The income limit for a household with one recipient in 2022 was $934. In December 2022, it was announced that the 2023 income limit would increase to $1,563.  Then unexpectedly, in mid-February 2023, it was increased again, to $1,677.  We have not previously seen an increase this large.

Currently, people who are using a Pooled Income Trust have two options. The first option is to continue to make monthly deposits to your Pooled Income Trust in accordance with last year’s income limits. At the time of your next renewal date, your surplus income will be recalculated using the new figures.

The second option is to request a recalculation of your income and initiate a budget review. If you choose to recalculate your income, you may be able to significantly reduce the amount of funds you deposit monthly into your Pooled Income Trust, or you may be able to eliminate the need for a Pooled Income Trust altogether.

If your renewal date is within the next several months, it probably does not make sense to request a budget review.  By the time it is completed, your renewal date may already have passed.  If your renewal date is farther away, it is in your interest to request a review, because it will mean you can keep more of your income in your own personal name, to spend on yourself or others in whatever manner you choose.

Lamson & Cutner, P.C. is available to complete your renewal applications and/or budget review requests. If you would like to engage us for this work, we recommend that you contact us soon. DSS and HRA will be receiving thousands of renewal requests, and we would like to submit the requests for our clients as soon as possible and hopefully get you to the front of the line.

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