As I have previously written, Medicaid does not pay for assisted level of care. If you can qualify, the program is called Special Assistance, and it will help with the cost of an assisted living facility. But it is NOT Medicaid.
One of the main differences is an unforgiving income cap that has not been adjusted since 2009. Until now. Effective January 1, 2023, it goes up.
Special Assistance income caps will, from now on, be subject to the same COLA published annually for Social Security. In 2023, benefits will rise 8.7%.
Since 2009, the gross income (that’s income before any deductions) limit has been $1,247.50 for the general assisted living population, and it has been $1,580.50 for Memory Care.
Effective January 1, 2023, the new gross income limits for the general assisted living resident will be $1,355 and $1,737 for Memory Care. Due to rounding, those limits are likely to be $1,354.50 and $1,736.50.
Well, that’s good news and we’ll take it. What is disappointing is the 2023 COLA is applied to a 13-year-old number. Just for fun, I found a calculator that computes the impact of inflation from any year to the present (fun/depressing to fool around with): $1,247.50 in 2009 (the gross SA number set) would be $1,732.89 today. The SCU gross of $1,580.50 would be $2,195.46. So, the 2009/2023 inflation comparison with the 2023 “raise” is:
Calculated 2009-2023 Inflation Basic: $1,732.89. The new SA Rate: $1,355. That’s still $377.89 behind the inflation adjusted limit from 2009.
Calculated 2009-2023 Inflation Enhanced (Memory Care): $2,195.46. The new SA Rate: $1,717. That’s still $478.46 behind the inflation adjusted limit from 2009.
So, as you can see, SA remains woefully beyond the ravages of inflation since 2009.