OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 282 (File 124, as amended by Senate “A” and “B”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RETURN OF A GIFT TO A PERSON IN NEED OF LONG-TERM CARE SERVICES.

SUMMARY:

By law, the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner must impose a penalty period (period of Medicaid ineligibility) if institutionalized individuals (i. e. , long-term care facility residents or recipients of Medicaid-waiver home- and community-based services) transfer or assign their assets for less than they are worth in order to shift their care costs to the Medicaid program. The penalty period applies when such transactions occur within five years before a person applies for Medicaid long-term care. A penalty period generally is not imposed if the entire amount of the transferred asset is returned to the institutionalized individual.

This bill requires the commissioner, to the extent permitted by federal law, to reduce the penalty period if (1) part of the transferred assets are returned to the individual and (2) the penalty period's original end date does not change. DSS must consider the entire amount of the returned asset to be available to the transferor from the date it was returned. It cannot determine the transferee (see COMMENT) to be ineligible for Medicaid in the month the transferred asset is returned as long as the individual reduced the returned asset in accordance with federal law (e. g. , did not make the transfer to shift care costs to the Medicaid program).

By law, a conveyance and subsequent return of an asset for the purpose of shifting costs to the Medicaid program is deemed to be a trust-like device, and the asset is considered available for the purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility. The bill specifies that this does not apply to a conveyance and return of an asset made exclusively for a purpose other than to qualify for Medicaid long-term care services.

The bill also repeals a provision requiring DSS to penalize a nursing home resident for an asset transfer in which the entire amount is returned if the department determines the transfer was made improperly.

The bill also makes technical changes.

*Senate Amendment “A” requires DSS to reduce the penalty period for partial asset returns by a length of time attributed to the amount returned.

*Senate Amendment “B” replaces the original file and Senate Amendment “A.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

COMPLETE ASSET RETURNS

The bill eliminates a provision requiring DSS to penalize a nursing home resident to whom the entire amount of a transferred asset is returned if it determines that the circumstances surrounding the transaction indicate that the individual or his or her spouse or authorized representative intended from the time the asset was transferred to (1) change the start date of the penalty period or (2) shift long-term care facility costs to the Medicaid program. Under the eliminated provision, unless the individual can prove otherwise by clear and convincing evidence, the entire amount of the returned asset is available from the transfer date. If the individual prevails, the asset is deemed available from the date of its return.

COMMENT

Medicaid Ineligibility for Transferees

The bill prohibits DSS from determining a transferee to be ineligible for Medicaid in the month the transferred asset is partially returned if certain conditions are met. But, it is the transferor and not the transferee who receives Medicaid services.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Aging Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

12

Nay

0

(03/15/2012)