Vol. 25 Iss. 1 - September 15, 2008

Chapter 40
Emergency Regulation

Title of Regulation: 12VAC30-40. Eligibility Conditions and Requirements (amending 12VAC30-40-290).

Statutory Authority: §§32.1-324 and 32.1-325 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Dates: August 27, 2008, through August 26, 2009.

Agency Contact: Cindy Olson, Project Manager, Department of Medical Assistance Services, 600 East Broad Street, Suite 1300, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 225-4282, FAX (804) 786-1680, or email


Section 2.2-4011 of the Administrative Process Act provides that agencies may adopt emergency regulations in situations in which Virginia statutory law, the Virginia appropriation act, or federal law or regulation requires that a regulation shall be effective in 280 days or less from its enactment.

Item 306 NN of the 2008 Appropriation Act (Chapter 879 of the 2008 Acts of Assembly) directs the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to count life estates as a resource in determining Medicaid eligibility for covered groups for which a resource determination is required, including individuals requesting Medicaid payment for long-term care services. This action is intended to satisfy that mandate.

This regulatory action is intended to change the way life estates are evaluated in the Medicaid eligibility determination process per the requirement of the 2008 Appropriation Act. Upon implementation of this change, life estates will be evaluated as a resource for those Medicaid groups that have a resource requirement. This change will require the amendment of regulations addressing Medicaid eligibility.

This change is needed to eliminate the opportunity to shelter assets equal to the value of a life estate for individuals who are subject to a resource test for Medicaid eligibility.

12VAC30-40-290. More liberal methods of treating resources under §1902(r)(2) of the Act: §1902(f) states.

A. Resources to meet burial expenses. Resources set aside to meet the burial expenses of an applicant/recipient or that individual's spouse are excluded from countable assets. In determining eligibility for benefits for individuals, disregarded from countable resources is an amount not in excess of $3,500 for the individual and an amount not in excess of $3,500 for his spouse when such resources have been set aside to meet the burial expenses of the individual or his spouse. The amount disregarded shall be reduced by:

1. The face value of life insurance on the life of an individual owned by the individual or his spouse if the cash surrender value of such policies has been excluded from countable resources; and

2. The amount of any other revocable or irrevocable trust, contract, or other arrangement specifically designated for the purpose of meeting the individual's or his spouse's burial expenses.

B. Cemetery plots. Cemetery plots are not counted as resources regardless of the number owned.

C. Life rights. Life rights to real property established prior to August 28, 2008, are not counted as a resource. The purchase of a life right in another individual's home is subject to transfer of asset rules. See 12VAC30-40-300. Life rights to real property established on or after August 28, 2008 are evaluated as a resource in determining Medicaid eligibility in covered groups for which a resource determination is required, in the same manner as home or real property, as applicable.

D. Reasonable effort to sell.

1. For purposes of this section, "current market value" is defined as the current tax assessed value. If the property is listed by a realtor, then the realtor may list it at an amount higher than the tax assessed value. In no event, however, shall the realtor's list price exceed 150% of the assessed value.

2. A reasonable effort to sell is considered to have been made:

a. As of the date the property becomes subject to a realtor's listing agreement if:

(1) It is listed at a price at current market value; and

(2) The listing realtor verifies that it is unlikely to sell within 90 days of listing given the particular circumstances involved (e.g., owner's fractional interest; zoning restrictions; poor topography; absence of road frontage or access; absence of improvements; clouds on title, right of way or easement; local market conditions); or

b. When at least two realtors refuse to list the property. The reason for refusal must be that the property is unsaleable at current market value. Other reasons for refusal are not sufficient; or

c. When the applicant has personally advertised his property at or below current market value for 90 days by use of a "Sale By Owner" sign located on the property and by other reasonable efforts, such as newspaper advertisements, or reasonable inquiries with all adjoining landowners or other potential interested purchasers.

3. Notwithstanding the fact that the recipient made a reasonable effort to sell the property and failed to sell it, and although the recipient has become eligible, the recipient must make a continuing reasonable effort to sell by:

a. Repeatedly renewing any initial listing agreement until the property is sold. If the list price was initially higher than the tax-assessed value, the listed sales price must be reduced after 12 months to no more than 100% of the tax-assessed value.

b. In the case where at least two realtors have refused to list the property, the recipient must personally try to sell the property by efforts described in subdivision 2 c of this subsection for 12 months.

c. In the case of a recipient who has personally advertised his property for a year without success (the newspaper advertisements and "for sale" sign do not have to be continuous; these efforts must be done for at least 90 days within a 12-month period), the recipient must then:

(1) Subject his property to a realtor's listing agreement at price or below current market value; or

(2) Meet the requirements of subdivision 2 b of this subsection which are that the recipient must try to list the property and at least two realtors refuse to list it because it is unsaleable at current market value; other reasons for refusal to list are not sufficient.

4. If the recipient has made a continuing effort to sell the property for 12 months, then the recipient may sell the property between 75% and 100% of its tax assessed value and such sale shall not result in disqualification under the transfer of property rules. If the recipient requests to sell his property at less than 75% of assessed value, he must submit documentation from the listing realtor, or knowledgeable source if the property is not listed with a realtor, that the requested sale price is the best price the recipient can expect to receive for the property at this time. Sale at such a documented price shall not result in disqualification under the transfer of property rules. The proceeds of the sale will be counted as a resource in determining continuing eligibility.

5. Once the applicant has demonstrated that his property is unsaleable by following the procedures in subdivision 2 of this subsection, the property is disregarded in determining eligibility starting the first day of the month in which the most recent application was filed, or up to three months prior to this month of application if retroactive coverage is requested and the applicant met all other eligibility requirements in the period. A recipient must continue his reasonable efforts to sell the property as required in subdivision 3 of this subsection.

E. Automobiles. Ownership of one motor vehicle does not affect eligibility. If more than one vehicle is owned, the individual's equity in the least valuable vehicle or vehicles must be counted. The value of the vehicles is the wholesale value listed in the National Automobile Dealers Official Used Car Guide (NADA) Book, Eastern Edition (update monthly). In the event the vehicle is not listed, the value assessed by the locality for tax purposes may be used. The value of the additional motor vehicles is to be counted in relation to the amount of assets that could be liquidated that may be retained.

F. Life, retirement, and other related types of insurance policies. Life, retirement, and other related types of insurance policies with face values totaling $1,500 or less on any one person 21 years old and over are not considered resources. When the face values of such policies of any one person exceeds $1,500, the cash surrender value of the policies is counted as a resource.

G. Long-term care partnership insurance policy (partnership policy). Resources equal to the amount of benefits paid on the insured’s behalf by the long-term care insurer through a Virginia issued long-term care partnership insurance policy shall be disregarded. A long-term care partnership insurance policy shall meet the following requirements:

1. The policy is a qualified long-term care partnership insurance policy as defined in §7702B(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

2. The policy meets the requirements of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Long-Term Care Insurance Model Regulation and Long-Term Care Insurance Model Act as those requirements are set forth in §1917(b)(5)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 USC §1396p).

3. The policy was issued no earlier than May 1, 2007.

4. The insured individual was a resident of a partnership state when coverage first became effective under the policy. If the policy is later exchanged for a different long-term care policy, the individual was a resident of a partnership state when coverage under the earliest policy became effective.

5. The policy meets the inflation protection requirements set forth in §1917(b)(1)(C)(iii)(IV) of the Social Security Act.

6. The Insurance Commissioner requires the issuer of the partnership policy to make regular reports to the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services that include notification of the date benefits provided under the policy were paid and the amount paid, the date the policy terminates, and such other information as the secretary determines may be appropriate to the administration of such partnerships. Such information shall also be made available to the Department of Medical Assistance Services upon request.

7. The state does not impose any requirement affecting the terms or benefits of a partnership policy that the state does not also impose on nonpartnership policies.

8. The policy meets all the requirements of the Bureau of Insurance of the State Corporation Commission described in 14VAC5-200.

H. Reserved.

I. Resource exemption for Aid to Dependent Children categorically and medically needy (the Act §§1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(III), (IV), (VI), (VII); §§1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(VIII), (IX); §1902(a)(10)(C)(i)(III)). For ADC-related cases, both categorically and medically needy, any individual or family applying for or receiving assistance may have or establish one interest-bearing savings or investment account per assistance unit not to exceed $5,000 if the applicant, applicants, recipient or recipients designate that the account is reserved for purposes related to self-sufficiency. Any funds deposited in the account shall be exempt when determining eligibility for medical assistance for so long as the funds and interest remain on deposit in the account. Any amounts withdrawn and used for purposes related to self-sufficiency shall be exempt. For purposes of this section, purposes related to self-sufficiency shall include, but are not limited to, (i) paying for tuition, books, and incidental expenses at any elementary, secondary, or vocational school, or any college or university; (ii) for making down payment on a primary residence; or (iii) for establishment of a commercial operation that is owned by a member of the medical assistance unit.

J. Disregard of resources. The Commonwealth of Virginia will disregard all resources for qualified children covered under §§1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(I), 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(III), 1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(VIII), and 1905(n) of the Social Security Act.

K. Household goods and personal effects. The Commonwealth of Virginia will disregard the value of household goods and personal effects. Household goods are items of personal property customarily found in the home and used in connection with the maintenance, use and occupancy of the premises as a home. Examples of household goods are furniture, appliances, televisions, carpets, cooking and eating utensils and dishes. Personal effects are items of personal property that are worn or carried by an individual or that have an intimate relation to the individual. Examples of personal property include clothing, jewelry, personal care items, prosthetic devices and educational or recreational items such as books, musical instruments, or hobby materials.

L. Determining eligibility based on resources. When determining Medicaid eligibility, an individual shall be eligible in a month if his countable resources were at or below the resource standard on any day of such month.

VA.R. Doc. No. R09-1326; Filed August 27, 2008, 11:36 a.m.