Thursday, July 13, 2006

Medicaid buy-in for Texas

The new issue of In Touch, the Health and Human Services Commission's electronic newsletter, carries a story about Medicaid buy-in for Texas. The program will begin September 1. It will allow disabled persons who are well enough, thanks to treatment, return to work without losing access to the tretment that they need to stay well.

Beginning Sept. 1, certain Texans with disabilities will be able to purchase their health insurance through Medicaid by paying a monthly premium. Those who apply for the Medicaid Buy-In program must meet work and disability requirements as well as resource and income limits.

Work requirement: The person applying must have enough earnings and
FICA contributions in a calendar quarter for the Social Security Administration
to count it as a qualifying quarter. Currently, this amount is $970 a quarter.

Disability requirement: If the person applying already receives disability benefits from the Social Security Adminsitration, that person automatically meets the disability requirement. If there is no such disability determination, HHSC’s Disability Determination Unit will process the person’s information using Supplemental Security Income criteria without consideration of earned income.

Resource limit: The person applying must have $2,000 or less in countable resources. Certain resources will be excluded from the person’s countable resources.

Income limit: The person applying must have monthly income under
250 percent of the federal poverty level. For an individual, that means income
of less than $2,042 a month. Certain income will be excluded when determining
income eligibility.

Those participating in the Medicaid Buy-In program with unearned income
above the Social Security Income federal benefit rate, which is currently $603 a
month, will pay monthly premiums based on that income. In addition, those whose
income after mandatory payroll deductions is more than 150 percent of the
federal poverty level will pay an additional premium based on that earned
HHSC provides a FAQ about Medicaid buy-in on their website, which provides more information.


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