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Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Releases Guidance on ABLE Accounts

September 14, 2017
Source: ABLE National Resource Center

Today, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance to State Medicaid Directors regarding the “Implications of the ABLE Act for State Medicaid Programs.” The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) is pleased to see that the vast majority of the guidance acts to reinforce the language, spirit and congressional intent of the ABLE Act to ensure that ABLE accounts should “supplement, but not supplant” public benefits being provided to the ABLE account owner, including supports and services provided by the Medicaid program.

The contents of the letter are divided into the following topics:

  • Treatment of Funds in an ABLE Account
  • Contributions to ABLE Accounts
    • Contributions by Third Party
    • Contributions by the ABLE Account Beneficiary
    • Contribution by Third Party who Apply for Medicaid
  • Distributions from ABLE Accounts
    • Treatment of Distributions Exceeding QDEs for Non-MAGI Determinations
    • Treatment of Distributions Exceeding QDEs for MAGI Determinations
  • Post-Eligibility Treatment of Income
    • Transfer of ABLE Funds to State Estate Recovery.

Over the next few days, the ANRC, in collaboration with our partners in both the disability community and 529A community, will be working to analyze the guidance from CMS and develop a comprehensive summary. Additionally, the ANRC plans to host a dedicated national webinar aimed at helping all ABLE related stakeholders better understand how ABLE accounts may interact with Medicaid eligibility and supports and services given this new directive.

For initial highlights, and to read the CMS letter, visit the ANRC website at

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