ABLEnow Accounts Not Subject to Virginia Medicaid Recovery Claims Virginians with disabilities have more confidence to save, invest and leave a legacy.
RICHMOND, Va.—ABLEnow has provided thousands of Virginians with disabilities a new way to save for the future without affecting certain public benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Now, thanks to Virginia lawmakers and disability advocates, Virginians have another incentive to open and save in a Virginia-sponsored ABLE account. The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation to prohibit the state from pursuing Medicaid recovery claims against the ABLEnow or ABLEAmerica accounts of Virginia residents, unless required to do so by federal law.
Importance of Legislation
When an ABLE account owner passes away, and after all outstanding qualified disability expenses are paid, ABLE enabling legislation allows a state to file a claim against their ABLE account for certain Medicaid expenditures. Known as the “Medicaid payback” or “Medicaid clawback,” this provision made some Virginians reluctant to open an ABLEnow account and some advisors hesitant to recommend ABLEAmerica accounts to eligible Virginians who want to preserve their private funds.
“This change offers increased peace of mind for our Virginia customers,” said Mary Morris, CEO of Virginia529, the agency that administers ABLEnow. “It means that Virginians with disabilities can save, invest and plan for the future with the same confidence as anyone else. As this news spreads, we anticipate even more Virginians with disabilities will use ABLEnow or ABLEAmerica as a tool to increase their financial independence.”
Details of Legislation
Starting July 1, 2020, the legislation prohibits Medicaid recovery claims against the direct-sold ABLEnow accounts and financial advisor-sold ABLEAmerica accounts of Virginia residents, unless required to do so by federal law. Virginia joins California, Pennsylvania, Maryland and six other states that have passed similar legislation or policy clarifying that outstanding funds in an ABLE account should not be subject to Medicaid recovery to the maximum extent possible.
“The Commonwealth is now one step closer to creating a more inclusive and equitable path to independence for all Virginians,” said Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, who introduced and championed legislation that established Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) plans in Virginia as well as this bill prohibiting Medicaid recovery claims against Virginia ABLE accounts. “While we celebrate this important victory, we remain more committed than ever to empowering all Virginians to achieve and maintain health, independence and quality of life.”
Advantages for Virginians
Because ABLEnow and ABLEAmerica are Virginia-sponsored ABLE savings programs, there are other unique advantages for eligible Virginians. In Virginia, earnings grow free from both federal and state taxes. Virginia also offers an annual state income tax deduction of up to $2,000 per contributor for contributions to an ABLEnow or ABLEAmerica account.
Generally, funds in an ABLEnow account are disregarded when determining eligibility for certain federal benefits as well as state benefits provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
ABLEnow offers webinars and other virtual ABLE learning experiences. Organizations interested in sharing information about ABLE accounts with their group are invited to contact ABLEnow.
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About ABLEnow and ABLEAmerica
ABLEnow® is a national ABLE savings program for eligible Americans living with disabilities. Since its launch in December 2016, ABLEnow has grown to be the country’s largest independent ABLE program, with accounts in all 50 states. Call 1-844-NOW-ABLE or visit able-now.com to obtain information on the program. ABLEnow is administered by Virginia College Savings Plan.
ABLEAmerica® is a nationwide disability savings plan sponsored by Virginia529. Contact a financial advisor for more information or visit able-now.com/ableamerica.
Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.
Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses, summary prospectus and ABLEAmerica Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing. Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that provides state tax and other state benefits not available through ABLEAmerica. ABLEAmerica is distributed by American Funds Distributors, Inc. and sold through unaffiliated intermediaries.
We encourage you to seek the advice of a professional concerning any financial, tax, legal, federal or state benefit implications related to opening and maintaining an ABLE account. Participating in these programs involve investment risk including the possible loss of principal. For non-Virginia residents: other states may sponsor an ABLE plan offering state tax or other benefits not available through Virginia529’s programs. ©2020 Virginia College Savings Plan. All Rights Reserved.