Watch Your Language: Attribution

Orange City Iowa Estate Planning

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Here's how the Iowa Medicaid manual describes an attribution: "When one spouse enters a medical institution or applies for a home- and community-based services waiver, [...] resources are attributed to the 'community spouse' to protect sufficient resources for the community spouse's maintenance." What does that mean in normal english? [Read More]

Medicaid is in charge of dividing the pie between you and your spouse.

An attribution, according to the Iowa Medicaid manual, says: “When one spouse enters a medical institution or applies for a home- and community-based services waiver, […] resources are attributed to the ‘community spouse’ to protect sufficient resources for the community spouse’s maintenance.”

What does that mean in normal english?

We’ve already told you about the CSRA whattribution means giving resources to your spouse to provide for their careich is equal to half of the total assets owned by a married couple. However, this is subject to a floor and a ceiling and the amount attributed to the community spouse must fall between those two amounts.

Therefore, in order to calculate the CSRA for each new applicant, a caseworker from the Department of Human Services (DHS) must perform an attribution on the resources owned by the applicant and their spouse. They start by dividing the total countable assets in half then adjust the result to make sure the amount set aside for the community spouse is at least $25,728 and does not exceed $128,640 (as of this writing*).

For many married couples, the attribution is the single most confusing – (and the most important!) – element of the Medicaid application process. But you don’t have to be confused. Call our office at (712) 737-3885 to get started with our Painless Planning Process and get the answers you need to eliminate the worry and confusion of submitting your estate to the attribution process.

*This post is based on the 2019-2020 CSRA limits.

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