With the September 2020 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) announced October 13, Pennsylvania ElderLawAnswers member Robert Clofine has made his now-annual prediction of next year’s Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment figures. In an email to his colleagues in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Clofine forecasts that the 2021 maximum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) should be $130,380 and the minimum CSRA should be $26,076. The maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance should become $3,259.50. The income cap for waiver should be $2,382.
We’ll confirm Clofine’s calculations as soon as CMS issues the official figures, as well as Medicaid's home equity limits. Although his predictions have been right on the money in years past, last year's forecast differed slightly from the official figures due to CMS's apparent departure from past rounding practices. As it turned out, Clofine and CMS had been using different rounding methods all along, but it never made a difference until the 2020 figures because his method and theirs always ended up with the same result.
"Last year was a fluke where my rounding and their rounding was different," Clofine told us. "I calculated the 2021 the numbers the way I did it in the past and the way CMS did it last year, and I came up with the same result both ways. I’m pretty, pretty confident."