More Numbers for 2020

In my 11/4/19 post, I disclosed some of the important numbers that change year to year with respect to the Medicaid and VA Aid and Attendance programs that we work to obtain for many of our clients.  Here are the rest of the important numbers as well as 2020 Medicare and estate and gift tax numbers.

In the case of a married couple where one spouse is applying for Medicaid, the healthy spouse is entitled to keep a certain level of assets, referred to as the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA).  The maximum CSRA is $126,420 (if the couple has $252,840 in countable assets or more).  The minimum CSRA is $25,284.  This means that the healthy spouse can keep at least the first $25,284 of countable assets.

The primary residence is an exempt asset for Medicaid purposes no matter the value if the non-Medicaid spouse is living in it.  In the case of a single applicant with no spouse, in New Jersey the first $878,000 of equity is exempt and does not have to be spent down.  Any equity above this amount is a countable asset and subject to the spend down requirements.

Let’s look at some of the relevant Medicare numbers.  Under Medicare Part A for 2020 there is a deductible of $1408 for each benefit period.  For hospital stay days 1 to 60 there is no copay.  For days 61-90 the copay is increasing by $11 to $352 per day.  For a stay in a subacute wing of a skilled nursing home after a hospital stay, the first 20 days is fully covered.  The next 80 days in 2020 will carry a copay of $176 per day.

Finally, with regard to gifts, the same as last year, gifts of $15,000 per person per year can be made under the gift tax annual exemption.  The federal estate tax exemption, however, will increase to $11,580,000 per person.  For a married couple who do estate tax planning they will be able to pass up to $23,160,00 free of estate tax.  As of 1/1/2018 there is no New Jersey estate gift tax.  There remains, however, an inheritance tax which is based on the relationship of the heirs to the decedent.  Spouses, children and grandchildren are among the classes of heirs not subject to inheritance tax.

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