Simulation of Medicaid and SCHIP Eligibility: Implications of Findings From 10 States. Final Report.. 5. Definition of Countable Income


States have some discretion over the types of income they may or may not count when determining eligibility for Medicaid and SCHIP. Earnings of persons included in the family unit are typically counted, but some states and programs do not count the earnings of children and students-- for example, Arkansas and Connecticut. Arkansas and California also do not count earnings from job training programs. Many states and programs continue the old AFDC standard of not counting SSI benefits, foster care payments, adoption assistance payments, housing subsidies, and earned income tax credits (EITC). In California, however, the S-SCHIP program counts a housing subsidy as income when the subsidy is included in an employment benefit plan. The Connecticut Medicaid program counts housing subsidies--eight percent of the need standard or the actual subsidy, whichever is less.14 The TANF program in Connecticut counts EITC as earned income when it is received as an advance payment. Other types of income that were mentioned as not counted are: supplemental food assistance payments, WIC and food stamp benefits, sibling income, welfare benefit payments, certain types of veteran benefits, and rent received from a roomer or boarder. It is important to note that a state may use gross income tests for its Medicaid and SCHIP programs, but then not count several types of income such as welfare and disability benefits. Massachusetts is an example of such a state.