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Income and Resource Limits for New York State Public Health Insurance Programs

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Posted: 15 Jan, 2009
by David Silva (New York Legal Assistance Group)
Updated: 14 Aug, 2021
by Valerie Bogart (New York Legal Assistance Group)

NYS updated the 2021 levels with GIS 21 MA/06 -with the  2021 Federal Poverty Levels  (April 2021) 

Here is the 2021 HRA Income and Resources Level Chart   

Non-MAGI  - 2021

Disabled, 65+ or  Blind  ("DAB" or SSI-Related) and have Medicare

MAGI (2021)*
(< 65, Does not have Medicare)(OR has Medicare and has dependent child < 18 or < 19 in school)
138% FPL***
Children < 5 and pregnant women have HIGHER LIMITS than shown 


For MAGI-eligible people over MAGI income limit up to 200% FPL

No long term care.

See info here

     1 2 1 2 3 1 2
Income $884 (up from $875 in 2020) $1300 (up from $1,284 in 2020) $1,482  $2,004 $2,526 $2,146 $2,903

$15,900 (up from $15,750 in 2020)

$23,400 (up from $23,100 in 2020)


2020 levels are in GIS 19 MA/12 – 2020 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates  and attachments here 

* MAGI and ESSENTIAL plan levels are based on Federal Poverty Levels, which are not released until later in 2021.  2020 levels are used until then. 



HOW TO READ THE  HRA Medicaid Levels chart -  

  • Boxes 1 and 2 are NON-MAGI Income and Resource levels -- Age 65+, Blind or Disabled and other adults who need to use "spend-down" because they are over the MAGI income levels.  
  • Box 10 on page 3 are the MAGI income levels -- The Affordable Care Act  changed the rules for Medicaid income eligibility for many BUT NOT ALL New Yorkers.  People in the "MAGI" category - those NOT on Medicare -- have expanded eligibility up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Line, so may now qualify for Medicaid even if they were not eligible before, or may now be eligible for Medicaid without a "spend-down."   They have NO resource limit.
  • Box 3 on page 1 is Spousal Impoverishment levels for Managed Long Term Care & Nursing Homes and Box 8 has the Transfer Penalty rates for nursing home eligibility
  • Box 4 has Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities Under Age 65  (still 2017 levels til April 2018)
  • Box 6 are Medicare Savings Program levels  (will be updated in April 2018)

MAGI INCOME LEVEL of 138% FPL applies to most adults who are not disabled and who do not have Medicare, AND can also apply to adults with Medicare if they have a dependent child/relative under age 18 or under 19 if in school.  42 C.F.R. § 435.4.

  Certain populations have an even higher income limit -

  • 224% FPL for pregnant women and babies < age 1,
  • 154% FPL for children age 1 - 19. 

CAUTION:  What is counted as income may not be what you think

For the NON-MAGI Disabled/Aged 65+/Blind, income will still be determined by the same rules as before, explained in this outline  and these charts on income disregards.    However, for the MAGI population  - which is virtually everyone under age 65 who is not on Medicare - their income will now be determined under new rules, based on federal income tax concepts - called "Modifed Adjusted Gross Income" (MAGI).   There are good changes and bad changes. 

GOOD:  Veteran's benefits, Workers compensation, and gifts from family or others no longer count as income. 

BAD:  There is no more "spousal" or parental refusal for this population (but there still is for the Disabled/Aged/Blind.) and some other rules.  For all of the rules see:

ALSO SEE 2018 Manual on Lump Sums and Impact on Public Benefits - with resource rules 


The income limits increase with the "household size."  In other words, the income limit for a family of 5 may be higher than the income limit for a single person.  HOWEVER, Medicaid rules about how to calculate the household size are not intuitive or even logical.  There are different rules depending on the "category" of the person seeking Medicaid.     Here are the 2 basic categories and the rules for calculating their household size. 

  1. People who are Disabled, Aged 65+ or Blind - "DAB" or "SSI-Related" Category -- NON-MAGI - See this chart for their household size.   These same rules apply to the Medicare Savings Program, with some exceptions explained in this article

  2. Everyone else -- MAGI - All children and adults under age 65, including  people with disabilities who are not yet on Medicare -- this is the new "MAGI" population.  Their household size will be determined using federal income tax rules, which are very complicated.

New rule is explained in State's directive 13 ADM-03 - Medicaid Eligibility Changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010  (PDF)  pp. 8-10 of the PDF,   This PowerPoint by NYLAG on MAGI Budgeting attempts to explain the new MAGI budgeting, including how to determine the Household Size.  See slides 28-49. Also see Legal Aid Society and Empire Justice Center materials

OLD RULE used until end of 2013 --  Count the person(s) applying for Medicaid who live together, plus any  of their legally responsible relatives who do not receive SNA, ADC, or SSI and reside with an applicant/recipient.   Spouses or legally responsible for one another, and parents are legally responsible for their children under age 21  (though if the child is disabled, use the rule in the 1st "DAB" category.    Under this rule, a child may be excluded from the household if that child's income causes other family members to lose Medicaid eligibility.    See 18 NYCRR 360-4.2,  MRG p. 573,  NYS GIS 2000 MA-007

  • CAUTION:   Different people in the same household may be in different "categories" and hence have different household sizes AND  Medicaid income and resource limits.  If a man is age 67 and has Medicare and his wife is age 62 and not disabled or blind, the husband's household size for Medicaid is determined under Category 1/ Non-MAGI above and his wife's is under Category 2/MAGI.  

The following programs were available prior to 2014, but are now discontinued because they are folded into MAGI Medicaid:

  • Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP) was Medicaid  for pregnant women and children under age 19, with higher income limits for pregnant woman and infants under one year (200% FPL for pregnant women receiving perinatal coverage only not full Medicaid) than for children ages 1-18 (133% FPL).  

  • Medicaid for adults between ages 21-65 who are not disabled and without children under 21 in the household. It was sometimes known as "S/CC" category for Singles and Childless Couples.  This category had lower income limits than DAB/ADC-related, but had no asset limits.  It did not allow "spend down" of excess income.  This category has now been subsumed under the new MAGI adult group whose limit is now raised to 138% FPL.

  • Family Health Plus - this was an expansion of Medicaid to families with income up to 150% FPL and for childless adults up to 100% FPL.  This has now been folded into the new MAGI adult group whose limit is 138% FPL.  For applicants between 138%-150% FPL, they will be eligible for a new program where Medicaid will subsidize their purchase of Qualified Health Plans on the Exchange.


Past Medicaid income and resource levels in NYS are shown on these old NYC HRA  charts for 2001 through 2019, in chronological order.    These include Medicaid levels for MAGI and non-MAGI populations, Child Health Plus, MBI-WPD, Medicare Savings Programs and other public health programs in NYS. 

This article was authored by the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program of New York Legal Assistance Group.


Attached files
item HOUSEHOLD SIZE FOR SSI RELATED CHART2018.pdf (100 kb) Download
item MAPDR-01 2021 NYS Income and Resource Standards and Federal Poverty Levels (FPL).pdf (306 kb) Download
item 2001_to_2020_NYS_income__resource_level_charts.pdf (2.65 mb) Download
item NYLAG ACA Part 2 - MAGI.ppt (2.72 mb) Download
item NYSBA Partnership outline and appendix.pdf (3.14 mb) Download

Also read
item Advocate's Outline on Supplemental Needs Trusts and Rules for Impact of Lump Sums on Various Benefits
item How to use funeral planning to become eligible for Medicaid (updated fact sheet - 2015)
item Transfer of Asset Rules in Medicaid -- The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
item The Medicaid Buy-In for Working People With Disabilities (MBI-WPD)
item Keeping Medicaid after Cash Public Assistance or SSI Benefits Are Terminated
item Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) in New York
item Medicaid Resource and Income Disregards
item NYS Medicaid Application Form (updated 2015) for Age 65+ or Disabled or Blind - New Supp A NYC 2021
item Affordable Care Act --New York State Health Exchange Open Year-Round for Medicaid Applications and for Certain "Special Enrollment" categories
item KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Fact Sheet Explaining Basic Rules on NYS Financial Medicaid Eligibility for People who are Disabled, Aged 65+, or Blind
item The Affordable Care Act Implementation: New Opportunities and New Hurdles for Low-Income Communities in New York City
item NYS Directives on Medicaid changes under the Affordable Care Act
item The Affordable Care Act Implementation: Medicaid Expansion and MAGI Budgeting
item "MAGI" Medicaid Eligibility under the Affordable Care Act - Rules for Most People Under age 65 Without Medicare
item Special Income Standard for Housing Expenses: If Discharged from Nursing Homes or Adult Homes & Enroll in or Remain Enrolled in MLTC Plan
item Know Your Rights: NYLAG Webinars on Medicare and Medicaid -

Also listed in
folder Federal Health Reform

External links
http://www.wnylc.com/health/client/images/icons/article_out.svg MAPDR-01
http://www.wnylc.com/health/client/images/icons/article_out.svg http://www.health.state.ny.us/health_care/medicaid/publications/docs/gis/10ma026.pdf
http://www.wnylc.com/health/client/images/icons/article_out.svg https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/publications/pub2014gis.htm

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