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Roundup of Key Elder Law Numbers for 2009

Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment

Figures for 2009

In 2009, the spouse of a Medicaid recipient living in a nursing home (called the “community spouse”) may keep as much as $109,560 without jeopardizing the Medicaid eligibility of the spouse who is receiving long-term care. This is called the “community spouse resource allowance.” In Kansas, a spouse is entitled to keep one-half of all of the countable assets, not to exceed the maximum (effective January 1, 2009 – $109,560) and not less than a minimum of $21,912 (again, effective January 1, 2009).

There are also income limits. The community spouse is entitled to a minimum of $1,750. That figure can be increased up to a maximum of $2,739.

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion Rises to $13,000

The annual gift tax exclusion will increase from $12,000 to $13,000 effective January 1, 2009. The gift tax exclusion is the amount the IRS allows a taxpayer to gift to another individual without reporting the gift.

Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility

Limits for 2009

Attained age before the Maximum deduction: Maximum deduction:
40 or less $320
More than 40 but not more than 50 $600
More than 50 but not more than 60 $1,190
More than 60 but not more than 70 $3,180
More than 70 $3,980

Medicare Premiums, Deductibles and

Copayments for 2009

  • Basic Part B premium: $96.40/month(unchanged)
  • Part B deductible: $135 (unchanged)
  • Part A deductible: $1,068 (was $1,024)
  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90:$267/day (was $256)
  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 91 andbeyond: $534/day (was $512)
  • Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days21-100: $133.50/day (was 128)

Premiums for higher-income beneficiaries:

  • Individuals with annual incomes between$85,000 and $107,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $170,000 and $214,000 in 2009 will pay a monthly premium of $134.90.
  • Individuals with annual incomes between$107,000 and $160,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $214,000 and $320,000 in 2009 will pay a monthly premium of $192.70.
  • Individuals with annual incomes between$160,000 and $213,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $320,000 and $426,000 in 2009 will pay a monthly premium of $250.50.
  • Individuals with annual incomes of$213,000 or more and married couples with annual incomes of $426,000 or more in 2009 will pay a monthly premium of $308.30.

Rates differ for beneficiaries who are married but

file a separate tax return from their spouse.

Social Security Benefit Changes for 2009

  • Cost of Living Increase: 5.8 percent
  • Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefit Payable in January 2009:$1,153
  • Maximum Taxable Earnings: $106,800
  • Maximum Social Security Benefit:$2,323/month

Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts:

  • Under full retirement age: $14,160/year
  • The year an individual reaches full retirement age: $37,680/year

SSI Federal Payment Standard:

  • Individual: $674/month
  • Couple: $1,011/month

For a list of the 2009 Social Security changes, go to: http://ssa.gov/pressoffice/factsheets/colafacts2009.htm

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