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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 256B

Section 256B.056

Recent History

256B.056 Eligibility; residency; resources; income.

Subdivision 1. Residency. To be eligible for medical assistance, a person must have resided in Minnesota for at least 30 days, or, if absent from the state, be deemed to be a resident of Minnesota in accordance with the rules of the state agency.

A person who has resided in the state for less than 30 days is considered to be a Minnesota resident if the person:

(1) was born in the state;

(2) has in the past resided in the state for at least 365 consecutive days;

(3) has come to the state to join a close relative, which, for purposes of this subdivision means a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, spouse, or child; or

(4) has come to this state to accept a bona fide offer of employment for which the person is eligible.

A county agency shall waive the 30-day residency requirement in cases of medical emergency or where unusual hardship would result from denial of assistance. The county agency must report to the commissioner within 30 days on any waiver granted under this section. The county shall not deny an application solely because the applicant does not meet at least one of the criteria in this subdivision, but shall continue to process the application and leave the application pending until the residency requirement is met or until eligibility or ineligibility is established.

Subd. 1a. Income and assets generally. Unless specifically required by state law or rule or federal law or regulation, the methodologies used in counting income and assets to determine eligibility for medical assistance for persons whose eligibility category is based on blindness, disability, or age of 65 or more years, the methodologies for the supplemental security income program shall be used, except that payments made according to a court order for the support of children shall be excluded from income in an amount not to exceed the difference between the applicable income standard used in the state's medical assistance program for aged, blind, and disabled persons and the applicable income standard used in the state's medical assistance program for families with children. Exclusion of court-ordered child support payments is subject to the condition that if there has been a change in the financial circumstances of the person with the legal obligation to pay support since the support order was entered, the person with the legal obligation to pay support has petitioned for modification of the support order. For families and children, which includes all other eligibility categories, the methodologies under the state's AFDC plan in effect as of July 16, 1996, as required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), Public Law Number 104-193, shall be used. Effective upon federal approval, in-kind contributions to, and payments made on behalf of, a recipient, by an obligor, in satisfaction of or in addition to a temporary or permanent order for child support or maintenance, shall be considered income to the recipient. For these purposes, a "methodology" does not include an asset or income standard, or accounting method, or method of determining effective dates.

Subd. 2. Homestead; exclusion for institutionalized persons. The homestead shall be excluded for the first six calendar months of a person's stay in a long-term care facility and shall continue to be excluded for as long as the recipient can be reasonably expected to return to the homestead. For purposes of this subdivision, "reasonably expected to return to the homestead" means the recipient's attending physician has certified that the expectation is reasonable, and the recipient can show that the cost of care upon returning home will be met through medical assistance or other sources. The homestead shall continue to be excluded for persons residing in a long-term care facility if it is used as a primary residence by one of the following individuals:

(a) the spouse;

(b) a child under age 21;

(c) a child of any age who is blind or permanently and totally disabled as defined in the supplemental security income program;

(d) a sibling who has equity interest in the home and who resided in the home for at least one year immediately before the date of the person's admission to the facility; or

(e) a child of any age, or, subject to federal approval, a grandchild of any age, who resided in the home for at least two years immediately before the date of the person's admission to the facility, and who provided care to the person that permitted the person to reside at home rather than in an institution.

Subd. 3. Asset limitations. To be eligible for medical assistance, a person must not individually own more than $3,000 in assets, or if a member of a household with two family members,husband and wife, or parent and child, the household must not own more than $6,000 in assets, plus $200 for each additional legal dependent. In addition to these maximum amounts, an eligible individual or family may accrue interest on these amounts, but they must be reduced to the maximum at the time of an eligibility redetermination. The accumulation of the clothing and personal needs allowance according to section 256B.35 must also be reduced to the maximum at the time of the eligibility redetermination. The value of assets that are not considered in determining eligibility for medical assistance is the value of those assets excluded under the AFDC state plan as of July 16, 1996, as required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), Public Law Number 104-193, for families and children, and the supplemental security income program for aged, blind, and disabled persons, with the following exceptions:

(a) Household goods and personal effects are not considered.

(b) Capital and operating assets of a trade or business that the local agency determines are necessary to the person's ability to earn an income are not considered.

(c) Motor vehicles are excluded to the same extent excluded by the supplemental security income program.

(d) Assets designated as burial expenses are excluded to the same extent excluded by the supplemental security income program.

Subd. 3a. Repealed, 1992 c 513 art 7 s 135

Subd. 3b. Treatment of trusts. (a) A "medical assistance qualifying trust" is a revocable or irrevocable trust, or similar legal device, established on or before August 10, 1993, by a person or the person's spouse under the terms of which the person receives or could receive payments from the trust principal or income and the trustee has discretion in making payments to the person from the trust principal or income. Notwithstanding that definition, a medical assistance qualifying trust does not include: (1) a trust set up by will; (2) a trust set up before April 7, 1986, solely to benefit a person with mental retardation living in an intermediate care facility for persons with mental retardation; or (3) a trust set up by a person with payments made by the Social Security Administration pursuant to the United States Supreme Court decision in Sullivan v. Zebley, 110 S. Ct. 885 (1990). The maximum amount of payments that a trustee of a medical assistance qualifying trust may make to a person under the terms of the trust is considered to be available assets to the person, without regard to whether the trustee actually makes the maximum payments to the person and without regard to the purpose for which the medical assistance qualifying trust was established.

(b) Trusts established after August 10, 1993, are treated according to section 13611(b) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA), Public Law Number 103-66.

Subd. 4. Income. To be eligible for medical assistance, a person must not have, or anticipate receiving, semiannual income in excess of 120 percent of the income standards by family size used under the aid to families with dependent children state plan as of July 16, 1996, as required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), Public Law Number 104-193, except that families and children may have an income up to 133-1/3 percent of the AFDC income standard. In computing income to determine eligibility of persons who are not residents of long-term care facilities, the commissioner shall disregard increases in income as required by Public Law Numbers 94-566, section 503; 99-272; and 99-509. Veterans aid and attendance benefits and Veterans Administration unusual medical expense payments are considered income to the recipient.

Subd. 4a. Asset verification. For purposes of verification, the value of a life estate shall be considered not salable unless the owner of the remainder interest intends to purchase the life estate, or the owner of the life estate and the owner of the remainder sell the entire property.

Subd. 4b. Income verification. The local agency shall not require a monthly income verification form for a recipient who is a resident of a long-term care facility and who has monthly earned income of $80 or less.

Subd. 5. Excess income. A person who has excess income is eligible for medical assistance if the person has expenses for medical care that are more than the amount of the person's excess income, computed by deducting incurred medical expenses from the excess income to reduce the excess to the income standard specified in subdivision 4. The person shall elect to have the medical expenses deducted at the beginning of a one-month budget period or at the beginning of a six-month budget period. The commissioner shall allow persons eligible for assistance on a one-month spenddown basis under this subdivision to elect to pay the monthly spenddown amount in advance of the month of eligibility to the state agency in order to maintain eligibility on a continuous basis. If the recipient does not pay the spenddown amount on or before the 20th of the month, the recipient is ineligible for this option for the following month. The local agency shall code the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) to indicate that the recipient has elected this option. The state agency shall convey recipient eligibility information relative to the collection of the spenddown to providers through the Electronic Verification System (EVS). A recipient electing advance payment must pay the state agency the monthly spenddown amount on or before the 20th of the month in order to be eligible for this option in the following month.

Subd. 5a. Individuals on fixed income. Recipients of medical assistance who receive only fixed unearned income, where such income is unvarying in amount and timing of receipt throughout the year, shall report and verify their income annually.

Subd. 5b. Individuals with low income. Recipients of medical assistance not residing in a long-term care facility who have slightly fluctuating income which is below the medical assistance income limit shall report and verify their income on a semiannual basis.

Subd. 6. Assignment of benefits. To be eligible for medical assistance a person must have applied or must agree to apply all proceeds received or receivable by the person or the person's spouse from any third person liable for the costs of medical care for the person, the spouse, and children. The state agency shall require from any applicant or recipient of medical assistance the assignment of any rights to medical support and third party payments. Persons must cooperate with the state in establishing paternity and obtaining third party payments. By signing an application for medical assistance, a person assigns to the department of human services all rights the person may have to medical support or payments for medical expenses from any other person or entity on their own or their dependent's behalf and agrees to cooperate with the state in establishing paternity and obtaining third party payments. Any rights or amounts so assigned shall be applied against the cost of medical care paid for under this chapter. Any assignment takes effect upon the determination that the applicant is eligible for medical assistance and up to three months prior to the date of application if the applicant is determined eligible for and receives medical assistance benefits. The application must contain a statement explaining this assignment. Any assignment shall not be effective as to benefits paid or provided under automobile accident coverage and private health care coverage prior to notification of the assignment by the person or organization providing the benefits.

Subd. 7. Period of eligibility. Eligibility is available for the month of application and for three months prior to application if the person was eligible in those prior months. A redetermination of eligibility must occur every 12 months.

Subd. 8. Cooperation. To be eligible for medical assistance, applicants and recipients must cooperate with the state and local agency to identify potentially liable third-party payers and assist the state in obtaining third party payments, unless good cause for noncooperation is determined according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, part 433.147. "Cooperation" includes identifying any third party who may be liable for care and services provided under this chapter to the applicant, recipient, or any other family member for whom application is made and providing relevant information to assist the state in pursuing a potentially liable third party. Cooperation also includes providing information about a group health plan for which the person may be eligible and if the plan is determined cost-effective by the state agency and premiums are paid by the local agency or there is no cost to the recipient, they must enroll or remain enrolled with the group. For purposes of this subdivision, coverage provided by the Minnesota comprehensive health association under chapter 62E shall not be considered group health plan coverage or cost-effective by the state and local agency. Cost-effective insurance premiums approved for payment by the state agency and paid by the local agency are eligible for reimbursement according to section 256B.19.

HIST: Ex1967 c 16 s 6; 1969 c 841 s 1; 1973 c 717 s 18; 1974 c 525 s 1,2; 1975 c 247 s 10; 1976 c 236 s 3; 1977 c 448 s 6; 1978 c 760 s 1; 1979 c 309 s 4; 1980 c 509 s 106; 1980 c 527 s 1; 1981 c 360 art 2 s 28; 1Sp1981 c 2 s 14; 3Sp1981 c 2 art 1 s 32; 3Sp1981 c 3 s 17; 1982 c 553 s 6; 1982 c 640 s 5; 1983 c 312 art 5 s 15; 1984 c 422 s 1; 1984 c 534 s 22; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1985 c 252 s 21; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 1 art 8 s 5; 1987 c 403 art 2 s 79,80; 1988 c 689 art 2 s 144,145,268; 1989 c 282 art 3 s 45-47; 1989 c 332 s 1; 1990 c 568 art 3 s 28-32; 1992 c 513 art 7 s 34-38; 1993 c 339 s 13; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 5 s 31; art 6 s 25; 1995 c 207 art 6 s 28,29; 1995 c 248 art 17 s 1-4; 1996 c 451 art 2 s 8,9; 1997 c 85 art 3 s 13-15; 1997 c 203 art 4 s 20,21; 1997 c 225 art 6 s 4

* NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 3b by Laws 1995, *chapter 207, article 6, section 28, is effective retroactive to *August 11, 1993. Laws 1995, chapter 207, article 6, section *125, subdivision 3.

* NOTE: Subdivision 5a, as added by Laws 1995, chapter 248, *article 17, section 3, ceases to be effective if a federal *agency determines that implementation of subdivision 5a would *cause a loss of federal funding. Laws 1995, chapter 248, *article 17, section 8.

* NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 1 by Laws 1996, chapter *451, article 2, section 8, is effective upon federal approval. *Laws 1996, chapter 451, article 2, section 62.

* NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 8 by Laws 1997, chapter *225, article 6, section 4, expires June 30, 1999. Laws 1997, *chapter 225, article 6, section 8.