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MassHealth Pending Regulations Expected to Impact People 65 and Over

Date posted: September 11, 2019

In October 2019 MassHealth is expected to finalize new regulations regarding financial eligibility. These regulations are expected to effectively disallow funding pooled trusts for people 65 and over. Final regulations have not yet been issued and the effective date of the pending regulations has not been set.

Existing trust accounts

We do not have any indication that MassHealth will treat existing pooled trust funds any differently under the new regulations.

New trust accounts

We believe that new pooled trust accounts can be established prior to October 2019. If you have clients who are considering establishing a pooled trust, we encourage them to apply to the trust as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that establishing a new trust typically takes about 2 weeks. We will make every effort to process all applications as quickly as possible.

Additional deposits

We do not have any indication that additional deposits made to an existing trust account prior to the effective date of the regulations will be treated any differently.

For additional deposits made to existing trust accounts after the effective date of the regulations, we look to Permissible Transfers, 130 CMR 520.019(D)(4) for guidance.

“MassHealth considers the following transfers permissible … (4) The resources were transferred to a trust, a special-needs trust, or a pooled trust created for the sole benefit of a permanently and totally disabled nursing facility resident who was younger than 65 years old at the time the trust was created or funded.”

This provision suggests that additional deposits made after the change in regulations to trusts established before the beneficiary turned 65 are permissible transfers.

We do not find similar authority for additional deposits made after the change in regulations to trusts established after the beneficiary turned 65.

We will provide updated information as soon as it is available.