What is the “Monthly Personal Needs Allowance” in 2017 for Alabama Medicaid long term care in a nursing home

Monthly personal needs allowance in Alabama under Medicaid.

Monthly amount that a person in a nursing home can keep and still qualify for Alabama Medicaid in 2017.

Continuing our series on Alabama Medicaid in 2017 for long term care in an nursing home, let’s talk about the Monthly Personal Needs Allowance.

This focuses on income, not assets or as Medicaid calls them — resources.

Quick reminder about income under Alabama Medicaid

For the person going into the nursing home, the monthly income cap is $2,205 (anything over that we use a “Miller Trust” to qualify).

If married, we make sure the community spouse (still living at home) is at least $2,002 a month.

Basic rule is everything the person in the nursing home makes goes to the cost of the nursing home and Alabama Medicaid pays the rest.

Except for a small monthly amount . . . .

“What is the amount of the personal needs allowance in 2017?”

$30 a month.

“What can the $30 a month be used for?”

Basically anything.

Here are typical uses for the $30 a month:

  • Eating out
  • Clothes
  • Haircuts
  • Books
  • Movies
  • etc

“This seems too low — how is this fair?”

You are right.  It is very low.

But this is the rule under Alabama Medicaid in 2017.

The idea is since we are asking Medicaid to pay for the thousands and thousands of dollars of long term care in a nursing home, we have to take the bad with the good.

The good is having our nursing home paid for.

Bad is only able to keep $30 a month.

Do keep in mind that the person in the nursing home can keep up to $2,000 in assets (normally a checking account) so there is some money to draw from.

But the main way the nursing home resident is taken care of is by the family.  Nothing stops family members from buying things for the family member in the nursing home.

“What can I do now if I have time to plan?”

If you are concerned about this and in relatively good health, then you can take some planning steps now.

You can –with proper guidance and counsel — transfer assets so that friends or family members will now own those assets.  Then if you need a nursing home, they have the option to use their assets to help you be as comfortable as possible in the nursing home.

This takes the right planning, in the right way, at the right time, to make it work but it is doable.

Various factors such as your health, your wealth, your family dynamics, etc. go into this.  Understand there are options for almost anyone to do proper and legal long term care planning.

“What if I have questions about Alabama Medicaid?”

Easiest way is to pick up the phone and call us now at 205-879-2447.

You can also fill out our contact form and we’ll get right back with you.

We look forward to chatting with you if you have any questions we can help you with….

John Watts

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