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Table 2: Countable Income Test & Earnings Disregard Policies Used to Determine the Medicaid Eligibility of Families with Children

Table 2 provides information on the "countable income standard" and earnings disregard policies used by each state under its family coverage category to determine the Medicaid eligibility of a family of three. (States' policies on disregarding income from sources other than earnings and on disregarding selected expenses are explored in subsequent tables.) The "countable income standard" refers to the income level against which a family's monthly income is compared after deductions and disregards are taken into account in order to determine eligibility for Medicaid. Most states also have a gross income test that requires a family's income before deductions and disregards are taken into account to fall below a certain income level (see Table 3 for details).

Column 1: Column 1 shows the income level against which a family's monthly income is compared after deductions and disregards are taken into account in order to determine eligibility for Medicaid (i.e., the "countable income standard"). In states that have adopted an across-the-board income disregard that effectively increases the countable income standard for all families with children, the table displays the effective countable income standard that applies after the disregard is taken into account.

For example, the District of Columbia disregards all income between its July 16, 2023 AFDC income level and 200 percent of poverty. Thus, the District of Columbia is shown in column 1 to have a countable income standard of $2,275, an amount equal to 200 percent of the poverty level for a family of three.

When the countable income standard varies within a state, column 1 displays the standard that applies in the sub-state area with the largest number of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Column 2: Column 2 shows the earnings disregard policy that each state uses for families applying for Medicaid coverage (as opposed to families already enrolled in Medicaid). In this context, states typically define "applicants" as families who are not currently enrolled in Medicaid, and who have not been enrolled within the previous four months.

Column 3: Column 3 shows how each state treats the earnings of recipients who have been enrolled in Medicaid for 12 months or more. Note that a number of states have earnings disregard policies that vary depending on the length of time that a family has been enrolled in Medicaid, or that the adult in the family has been working. For example, states typically disregard $30 and 1/3 of remaining earnings during the first four months that a parent is employed. After four months, the disregard is scaled back. Table 2 does not attempt to capture all of these changes in state earnings disregard policies over time. Instead, it shows the policy that applies at the point of application (column 2), as well as the policy that applies to someone who has been enrolled in Medicaid for 12 months or more (column 3).

Unless otherwise noted, Table 2 presents information on the eligibility rules used by a state under its family coverage category. States marked with an "*" have not yet established such a category, but instead cover families with children not on welfare through a medically needy category. States marked with a "**" also have not established such a category, but instead cover such families under an 1115 waiver expansion. In these cases, Table 2 reflects the policies used by the state to determine the eligibility of families with children under its medically needy category or 1115 waiver rules.

 

Table 2
Countable Income Test & Earnings Disregard Policies Used
to Determine the Medicaid Eligibility of Families with Children

  What is the state's countable income standard for its family coverage category? How are applicants' earnings treated when determining countable income? How are the earnings of recipients who have been enrolled in Medicaid for 12 months or more treated when determining countable income?
Alabama $164 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Alaska $1,092 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $150 + 33% of the remainder
Arizona $347 Disregard $90 + 30% of the remainder (or $30 and 1/3 of the remainder whichever is more generous for the first four months only) Disregard $90 + 30% of the remainder
Arkansas $204 Disregard 20% of earnings Disregard 20% of earnings + 60% of remaining earnings
California (1) $775 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $240 + 50% of remaining earnings
Colorado $421 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90
Connecticut $777 (2) Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard earnings up to 100% of FPL
Delaware $338 for applicants

$853 for recipients

Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
District of Columbia $2,275 D.C. has expanded coverage for families with children up to 200% of poverty by disregarding all income between its old AFDC countable income standard and 200% of poverty; it does not in addition have a specific earnings disregard. D.C. has expanded coverage for families with children up to 200% of poverty by disregarding all income between its old AFDC countable income standard and 200% of poverty; it does not in addition have a specific earnings disregard.
Florida $303 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $200 and 50% of the remainder
Georgia $424 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Hawaii ** $1,331 For pregnant women and children under 19 born after 9/30/83 only, disregard $90 from earnings of each employed individual. For pregnant women and children under 19 born after 9/30/83, disregard $90 from earnings of each employed individual.
Idaho $317 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Illinois $377 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Indiana $259 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Iowa $426 20% of earnings and 50% of the remainder 20% of gross earnings and 50% of the remainder
Kansas $404 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings and 40% of the remainder
Kentucky $526 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Louisiana $174 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Maine $1,138 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Maryland $418 Disregard 20% of earnings Disregard 20% of earnings
Massachusetts ** $1,539 No earnings disregard No earnings disregard
Michigan $459 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Minnesota $532 Disregard $120 and 1/3 of remaining earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Mississippi $368 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Missouri $292 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Montana $476 Disregard $200 in earnings and 25% of the remainder Disregard $200 in earnings and 25% of the remainder
Nebraska * $393 Disregard 20% of earnings Disregard 20% of earnings
Nevada $828 for applicants
$348 for recipients
Disregard $90 in earnings or 20% of earnings, whichever is more advantageous to the family Disregard $90 in earnings or 20% of earnings, whichever is more advantageous to the family
New Hampshire $575 Disregard 20% of earnings Disregard 20% of earnings
New Jersey $443 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
New Mexico $389 Disregard $120 and 1/3 of remaining earnings Disregard $120 and 1/3 of remaining earnings
New York $577 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings and 46% of the remainder
North Carolina $544 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
North Dakota $447 Disregard $90 or 27% of earnings (whichever is more advantageous to the family) plus $30 and 1/3 of remaining earnings Disregard $90 or 27% of earnings (whichever is more advantageous to the family) plus $30 and 1/3 of remaining earnings
Ohio(3) $362 Disregard $250 + 50% of remaining earnings Disregard $250 + 50% of remaining earnings
Oklahoma $471 Disregard $120 in earnings Disregard $120 in earnings
Oregon $460 Disregard $90 + $30 + 1/3 of remaining income or 50% of earnings, whichever is more advantageous to the family Disregard $90 + $30 + 1/3 of remaining income or 50% of earnings, whichever is more advantageous to the family
Pennsylvania $421 Disregard 50% of earnings or $90, whichever is more advantageous to the family Disregard 50% of earnings or $90, whichever is more advantageous to the family
Rhode Island $2,104 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
South Carolina $568 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $100 in earnings
South Dakota(4) $796 No earnings disregard No earnings disregard
Tennessee $799 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Texas* $275 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Utah* $583 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Vermont $636 Disregard $150 in earnings and 25% of the remainder Disregard $150 in earnings and 25% of the remainder
Virginia $291 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Washington $546 Disregard 50% of earnings Disregard 50% of earnings
West Virginia $253 Disregard $90 in earnings Disregard $90 in earnings
Wisconsin $517 Disregard $90 plus $30 and 1/3 of remaining earnings for 12 months Disregard $90 in earnings
Wyoming $590 Disregard $200 in earnings Disregard $200 in earnings

 

NOTES

1. As of March 1, 2000, California will increase its effective countable income standard to 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($1,157 a month for a family of three in 1999). For applicants, the state will use the new effective countable income standard and a $90 work expense disregard. For recipients, the state will apply the new effective countable income standard and a $90 work expense or the old effective countable income standard ($775 a month for a family of three) and earnings disregard policy ($240 + 50 percent of remaining earnings), whichever is more advantageous to the recipient.
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2. Connecticut is planning to increase its effective countable income standard to 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($2,140 a month for a family of three in 1999) on July 1, 2000.
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3. On July 1, 2000, Ohio will give families the opportunity to be eligible for coverage for a two-year period if their countable incomes fall below 100 percent of the federal poverty level. After families use their two years of coverage at the 100 percent effective countable income standard, they will continue to be eligible for regular Medicaid if they meet the eligibility rules presented in these tables.
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4. South Dakota uses only a gross income test to determine whether families with children are eligible for Medicaid. Thus, a family of three is eligible for Medicaid if its gross income (i.e., income not adjusted by deductions or disregards) falls below $796 a month.
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This page last updated September 02, 2023

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