Centralized Facility Eligibility Unit

The Iowa Department of Human Services Centralized Facility Eligibility Unit (CFEU) processes all new applications and maintains all ongoing Medicaid cases for residents of nursing facilities, ICF/MR facilities, hospitals, and other medical institutions.

Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.

Contact Information:

Centralized Facility Eligibility Unit

Imaging Center 1

417 East Kanesville Blvd

Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Phone: 877-344-9628

Fax: 515-564-4040

Email: facilities@dhs.state.ia.us

Clickhere for additionalforms, information and policesrelated toFacility Care and Medicaid, SSI, Privacy, Citizenship and more. Several frequently asked questions and answers are below.

Frequently asked Questions about Facility Medicaid

1. What is the income limit for Nursing Facility Care?

The current income limit for Nursing Facility Care is $2163 per month. If there is a spouse at home, please see question # 5.

2. Is there anything I can do if I am over the income amount?

If you are over the income limit for nursing facility care, you may be able to establish a Medical Assistance Income Trust (Miller Trust). A Medical Assistance Income Trust, or Miller Trust, is an irrevocable trust established for the benefit of an individual on or after August 10, 1993. It is a trust where:

  • Only the beneficiarys income (both earned and unearned) is assigned to deposited into the trust, and

  • The state is the residuary beneficiary of the trust and will receive all amounts remaining in the trust at the beneficiarys death, up to the amount of Medicaid paid for the beneficiary.

3. What is the resource limit for Nursing Facility Care?

The resource limit for a single person in a nursing facility is $2,000. The resource limit for a married couple when both spouses are applying for nursing facility care is $3,000. If one spouse remains at home see question # 6.

4. Will I owe the nursing facility any money?

In most cases if you are in a nursing facility, you will have to pay the nursing facility what is known as monthly client participation. Medicaid pays any difference between the monthly client participation and the approved cost of care in the facility. All of your monthly income is considered in order to compute the amount of client participation. The following deductions are given before the client participation is determined:

Personal needs allowance of $50.

  • Maintenance needs of your spouse or family at home.

  • Living expenses for partial month of nursing facility care if you dont have a spouse at home.

  • Health insurance premiums, including Medicare.

  • Necessary medical care that is recognized by state law but not covered by Medicaid.

  • Home maintenance needs for the month of discharge from the facility.

  • If there is a spouse at home this may be different please see question # 5.

5. How will my spouse at home be able to live without income?

When one spouse enters a nursing facility and the other spouse remains at home, income can be protected for the spouse at home. The amount allowed for the spouse at home, unless there is a court order or an appeal decision, is currently $2931 per month (this amount changes yearly). This is called Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) The income of the spouse at home is subtracted from the MMMNA of $2931 to determine the amount of income the spouse in the facility can give to the spouse at home.

6. What resources will my spouse at home be able to keep?

When one spouse enters a facility and remains in the facility for 30 days or longer the DHS will complete what is known as an Attribution of Resources. This will allow resources to be attributed to the spouse at home. The amount of resources that can be protected for the spouse at home is the total amount of countable resources as a couple, divided by two. The spouse at home can protect half of the total resources or $24,000, whichever is greater. The maximum amount that can be protected for the spouse at home is $117,240, so if half the combined resources are more than $117,240, the spouse at home can only protect $117,240. These amounts change yearly.

7. Can I give away resources to become eligible for Medicaid sooner?

No. Giving away resources is considered a transfer of assets. A transfer of assets occurs anytime a person transfers resources or countable income for less than fair market value in order to become eligible for or maintain eligibility for Medicaid. There may be a penalty for transferring assets. The transfer of assets penalty affects Medicaid coverage of certain long-term care services, including payments to a nursing facility, waiver services or PACE services.

8. Can I keep my home?

Under certain circumstances homestead property may be excluded as a resource in the eligibility determination. This includes if the home is not occupied by you due to a temporary absence, such as a trip, visit, or stay in a residential care facility or medical institution. To be excluded, you must intend to return to the home. If you do not intend to return, the home becomes a non homestead property, and is countable as a resource. Your homestead property may also be excluded if it is occupied by your spouse or dependent relative while you are absent.

9. What is Estate Recovery?

Estate Recovery means the state will try to get back the cost of your medical bills that were paid by Medicaid. The state will collect from the assets you have at the time of your death. Estate Recovery applies to all persons who get Medicaid on or after July 1, 1994 and who are: 55 years of age or older, regardless of where they are living, or are under age 55 and are residents of a nursing facility, an intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded, or a mental health institute, and cannot reasonably be expected to be discharged and return home. Estate Recovery may be delayed if you have a surviving spouse or a surviving child who is under 21, blind, or permanently and totally disabled when you die, or if it would create undue hardship. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will decide if you meet hardship criteria. DHS will not put liens on property, but will make a claim against the estate upon the death of the Medicaid recipient.

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