WSR 17-08-086
(Washington Apple Health)
[Filed April 4, 2017, 2:57 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 17-03-075.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: New WAC 182-560-100 Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.
Hearing Location(s): Health Care Authority (HCA), Cherry Street Plaza Building, Pear Conference Room 107, 626 8th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98504 (metered public parking is available street side around building. A map is available at or directions can be obtained by calling (360) 725-1000), on May 9, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not sooner than May 10, 2017.
Submit Written Comments to: HCA Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45504, Olympia, WA 98504-5504, delivery 626 8th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98504, email, fax (360) 586-9727, by 5:00 p.m. on May 9, 2017.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Amber Lougheed by May 5, 2017, email, (360) 725-1349, or TTY (800) 848-5429 or 711.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The agency is creating this new section to implement the ABLE Act. An ABLE account allows clients who are blind or have a disability to save funds in tax-advantaged accounts for their disability related expenses. This section clarifies how ABLE accounts are counted when determining eligibility and which funds held in an ABLE account are subject to estate recovery.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: New WAC 182-559-100 is necessary to implement provisions [of] ESHB 2323, chapter 39, Laws of 2016, 64th legislature, 2016 regular session; SSB 6210, 64th legislature, 2016 regular session; and HR 647 – ABLE Act of 2014.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.05.021, 41.05.160; ESHB 2323 and SSB 6210, 64th legislature, 2016 regular session; HR 647 – ABLE Act of 2014.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 41.05.021, 41.05.160, ESHB 2323 and SSB 6210, 64th Legislature, 2016 regular session; HR 647 – ABLE Act of 2014.
Rule is necessary because of federal law, HR 647 - ABLE Act of 2014.
Name of Proponent: HCA, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Katie Pounds, P.O. Box 42716, Olympia, WA 98504-2716, (360) 725-1346; Implementation and Enforcement: Stephen Kozak, P.O. Box 45534, Olympia, WA 98504-5534, (360) 725-1343.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The agency has determined that the proposed filing does not impose a disproportionate cost impact on small businesses or nonprofits.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to HCA rules unless requested by the joint administrative rules review committee or applied voluntarily.
April 4, 2017
Wendy Barcus
Rules Coordinator
Chapter  182-560  WAC
WAC 182-560-100 Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.
This rule describes a qualified achieving a better life experience (ABLE) account and its effect on the determination of eligibility for Washington apple health coverage.
(1) A qualified ABLE account:
(a) Is established and maintained by a state, or its designated agency or entity;
(b) Meets federal requirements under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 529A; and
(c) Is used to save funds for the disability related expenses of the account's designated beneficiary.
(2) This section applies to ABLE account beneficiaries who:
(a) Are entitled to benefits based on blindness or disability under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act; or
(b) Meet the blindness or disability requirements under WAC 182-512-0050 (1)(b) and (c).
(3) The disability or blindness described in subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section must have occurred before age twenty-six.
(4) This section does not apply if the total combined annual contributions to an ABLE account exceed the gift tax annual exclusion amount identified in the Internal Revenue Service publication 559.
(5) When determining countable income for apple health programs for the account's designated beneficiary, the medicaid agency or the agency's designee does not:
(a) Count contributions made to the ABLE account;
(b) Count funds distributed from the account;
(c) Count earnings generated by the account, such as accrued interest or dividends; or
(d) Reduce income used to determine eligibility by the amount of contributions made to the account, including any funds the designated beneficiary may contribute to it.
(6) When determining eligibility for apple health programs, the agency or the agency's designee excludes as resources:
(a) The value of an ABLE account, including any earnings generated by the account; and
(b) Subject to subsection (8) of this section, distributions from the account for qualified disability expenses as long as the beneficiary:
(i) Maintains an ABLE account;
(ii) Contributes to an ABLE account; or
(iii) Receives distributions from such ABLE account.
(7) "Qualified disability expense (QDE)" means any expense related to the beneficiary's blindness or disability that is made for the benefit of the beneficiary, including the following expenses:
(a) Education;
(b) Housing;
(c) Transportation;
(d) Employment training and support;
(e) Assistive technology and personal support services;
(f) Health;
(g) Prevention and wellness;
(h) Financial management;
(i) Legal fees;
(j) Expenses for oversight and monitoring; and
(k) Funeral and burial expenses.
(8) Distributions under subsection (6)(b) of this section, which are retained into a subsequent calendar month:
(a) Remain excluded as resources as long as the distributions are identifiable and the beneficiary still intends to use the distribution for a QDE;
(b) Are available resources on the first day of a subsequent calendar month if the intent of the beneficiary changes such that the beneficiary will not use the distribution for a QDE; and
(c) Are available resources on the first day of any subsequent month when the distribution is actually used for a non-QDE.
(9) The agency or the agency's designee counts as a resource on the first day of the following month any funds distributed for purposes other than paying a QDE expense described in subsection (7) of this section.
(10) If the beneficiary has multiple ABLE accounts, the agency or the agency's designee applies this section to the first ABLE account established.
(11) Funds remaining in the ABLE account when the beneficiary dies are subject to estate recovery under chapter 182-527 WAC, less any:
(a) Outstanding QDE debts; and
(b) Premium payments made from the ABLE account on behalf of the beneficiary to obtain coverage under the apple health care for workers with disabilities described in WAC 182-511-1000.