A Federal court has ruled that an immediate annuity is not considered an asset for Medicaid qualification purposes.

The decision applies to annuities, which are irrevocable and nontransferable.

In Lopes v. Starkowski [No. 3:lO-CV-307 (JCH)], the United Stated District Court in Connecticut ruled that the income stream from an unassignable immediate annuity is not an asset for Medicaid eligibility.

As precedent, it cites a Third Circuit opinion —James v. Richman [547 F.3d 214 (3 Cir. 2008)]–which held that under the Supplemental Security Income program, “an unassignable annuity’s income stream would be treated as income and not as an asset.”

But the new District Court decision went further, by stating that “it would be incongruent with the principles of [Medicaid law] to permit a state to characterize even an assignable income stream as an asset.”

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