NJ Medicaid confirms that CARES payments won’t interrupt benefits

Previously we reported on concerns about whether the $1200 per person payments or the $600 unemployment enhancements that would be arriving via the CARES ACT would be counted as income or a resource which would affect the means-tested benefits being received under New Jersey’s Medicaid (NJ FamilyCare) programs. We’re happy to report that the Director of DMAHS has released a Medicaid Communication (Med-Com) concerning the COVID-19 crisis  that makes it clear that this will not happen.  MedCom 20-04_COVID-19_Guidance

The receipt of the payments will be treated as ‘excluded unearned income” in the month of receipt. This means that it will not change a person’s eligibility category if s/he is in a program that sets a ceiling or “income cap” for eligibility. This also means that if the person is receiving MLTSS benefits for skilled nursing home services, the payments do not have to be handled the way other income is handled, and they are not counted toward the resident’s monthly cost share to the facility.

The receipt of the payments also will not be counted as a “resource” (asset)  for up to 12 months after the month of receipt. This means that it will not change a person’s resources if s/he is in a program that has a resource limit (frequently this limit is $2,000 but certain programs have a higher limit). The “spend down” can be done gradually over the year, and might have to be reported at the time of the annual redetermination.

Call us with questions about NJ Medicaid eligibility, applications and appeals …. 732-382-6070