Key Elder Law Numbers for 2018: Our Annual Roundup

Below are figures for 2018 that are frequently used in the elder law practice or are of interest to clients.

Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2018

The new minimum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) is $24,720 and the maximum CSRA is $123,600. The maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $3,090. The minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance remains $2,030 ($2,536.25 for Alaska and $2,333.75 for Hawaii) until July 1, 2018.

Medicaid Home Equity Limits

Minimum: $572,000

Maximum: $858,000

For CMS's complete chart of the 2018 SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards, click here.

Income Cap

The income cap for 2018 applicable in "income cap" states is $2,250 a month.

Gift and estate tax figures

Federal estate tax exemption: $11.18 million (estimate) for individuals

Lifetime tax exclusion for gifts: $11.18 million (estimate)

Generation-skipping transfer tax exemption: $11.18 million (estimate)

Annual gift tax exclusion: $15,000

Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2018

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2018 limitations on the deductibility of long-term care insurance premiums from income. Any premium amounts above these limits are not considered to be a medical expense.

Attained age before the close of the taxable year

Maximum deduction

40 or less

$420

More than 40 but not more than 50

$780

More than 50 but not more than 60

$1,560

More than 60 but not more than 70

$4,160

More than 70

$5,200

Benefits from per diem or indemnity policies, which pay a predetermined amount each day, are not included in income except amounts that exceed the beneficiary's total qualified long-term care expenses or $360 per day (for 2018), whichever is greater.

For these and other inflation adjustments from the IRS, click here.

Medicare Premiums, Deductibles and Copayments for 2018

  • Part B premium for protected beneficiaries: Average of $130/month (was $109)
  • Part B premium for beneficiaries not protected: $134/month (unchanged)
  • Part B deductible: $183 (unchanged)
  • Part A deductible: $1,340 (was $1,316)
  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $335/day (was $329)
  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 91 and beyond: $670/day (was $658)
  • Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $167.50/day (was $164.50)

Part B premiums for higher-income beneficiaries:

  • Individuals with annual incomes between $85,000 and $107,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $170,000 and $214,000 will pay a monthly premium of $187.50.
  • Individuals with annual incomes between $107,000 and $133,500 and married couples with annual incomes between $214,000 and $267,000 will pay a monthly premium of $267.90.
  • Individuals with annual incomes between $133,500 and $160,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $267,000 and $320,000 will pay a monthly premium of $348.30.
  • Individuals with annual incomes between above $160,000 and married couples with annual incomes above $320,000 will pay a monthly premium of $428.60.

High-earner premiums differ for beneficiaries who are married but file a separate tax return from their spouse. Those with incomes greater than $85,000 will pay a monthly premium of $428.60.

For Medicare's "Medicare 2018 costs at a glance," click here.

Social Security Benefits for 2018

The new monthly federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment standard is $750 for an individual and $1,125 for a couple.

Estimated average monthly Social Security retirement payment: $1,404 a month for individuals and $2,340 for couples

Maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security taxation: $128,400 (was $127,200)

For a complete list of the 2018 Social Security figures, go to: https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/colafacts2018.pdf