Testimony Before The Senate Human Services Committee
Judy Lee, Chairman
HB 1281 - Medicaid eligibility and long term care facilities
February 23, 2005
Chairman Lee, members of the committee, I am David Zentner, Director of Medical Services for the Department of Human Services. I appear before you to provide information regarding this bill.
This amended bill creates two new subsections relating to eligibility for the North Dakota Medicaid program.
The first subsection allows nursing facilities to collect information regarding income and assets from applicants to admission. We have no problem with this subsection.
The second subsection permits individuals who have transferred assets, at less than fair market value, to obtain the assets from the transferee, and then become eligible for Medicaid if the transfer penalty would deprive the individual of nursing care services, and the provisions of this sub-section are met by the applicant or recipient. Initially the Department had expressed concern about this section because it did not follow federal Medicaid eligibility determination requirements. It has been amended and therefore we have no issue with the new language contained in this sub-section.
Under current policy, if a disqualifying transfer is returned before a Medicaid decision is made, the transfer is not considered when determining eligibility; however, the returned asset would be included in determining eligibility if the applicant was eligible for Medicaid. If the assets are returned after a Medicaid decision is made, the transfer ends at that time, and the returned assets would be considered when determining if the individual qualified for the Medicaid program in future months. An individual can use those returned assets to pay for medical services including nursing facility services. This policy follows current federal law regarding the transfer of assets at less than fair market value. We are unable to deviate from this policy.
I would be happy to respond to any questions you may have.