PLAN of MARI SNPT 65 and Over | Change in Regulations UPDATE

SNPT 65 and Over | Change in Regulations UPDATE

Date posted: February 2, 2024

An updated advisory regarding the pending regulation change disallowing pooled trusts for individuals over age 65:

As you are likely aware, the new regulation states that after March 1, transfers to pooled trusts will be deemed disqualifying transfers for individuals over 65.  Specifically, 130 CMR 520.019(D)(5) states that Permissible Transfers include circumstances where:

“Effective until [March 1, 2024], the resources were transferred to a pooled trust created for the sole benefit of the permanently and totally disabled nursing-facility resident.  Effective [after March 1, 2024], this transfer is no longer permissible.” 

The clear reading of this regulation is that the date of the transfer, not the date of application, determines eligibility.  However, Eligibility Operations memo 23-15 (attached), states under the heading “New Applications” that “new applications received on or after March 1, 2024, from individuals aged 65 or older, who transferred assets into a pooled trust at age 65 or older within five years of applying for MassHealth, are subject to the penalty period.” 

This Operations Memo is in clear conflict with the regulation. Given that the regulation (not an Operations Memo) determines the eligibility criteria, we are reasonably confident that any MassHealth application with a pooled trust established before March 1, 2024 that is denied because the application is submitted after March 1, 2024 will prevail at a Fair Hearing.  However, we are concerned about the burden it will place on applicants to have to pursue Fair Hearings in order to achieve eligibility.  For this reason, we recommend that all MARC Trust beneficiaries who are over 65 submit their MassHealth application before March 1, 2024. 

You can read Eligibility Operations Memo 23-15 here.