This post is about Medicaid long term care benefits in Michigan, and assumes some general understanding on the part of the reader with respect to Medicaid planning and Medicaid policy.
As of March 1, language in BEM 405 (Divestment) seems to fulfill prior threats from the Department of Health and Human Services to treat transfers to a Trust “Soley for the Benefit” of a spouse (aka “SBO Trust”) as divestment. Click here to read BEM 405, and note the language changes on page 9, the reference to a trust solely for the benefit of a disabled person (to the exclusion of a trust solely for the benefit of a spouse) on page 10, and the revisions to the definition of actuarially sound on page 12. As discussed here previously, the Department apparently understands these revisions to provide a basis for contesting SBO trusts on a divestment theory, although I still don’t get what they’re logic is. It will be curious to see how this plays out.
As of April 1, BEM 402 (Protected Spousal Amount) is scheduled to be revised to include extensive new language regarding the treatment of court orders that might effect the calculation of the protected spousal amount. Basically, these revisions direct the caseworkers to expeditiously send court orders to the legal department. These changes are presumably in response to the recent Schroeder decision which has also previously been discussed in this blog. To read these proposed changes, click here and go to page 10.