In this post, we are going to share some news about the Community Medicaid program because it will be of interest to informed senior citizens and their loved ones. Before we focus on that information, we will explain why this program should be on your radar if it is not already.
The vast majority of senior citizens will need help with their activities of daily living at some point in time. There are those that will always be able to get the help that they need from family members, but most seniors incur long-term care expenses.
Medicare does not pay for the custodial care that nursing homes and in-home caregivers provide, and as you might imagine, the care is very expensive. The median cost for a private room in a Manhattan nursing home is over $155,000 according to Genworth Financial.
In-home care is not as exorbitant, but the median annual charge was $59,448 last year. Most people that require paid living assistance get the care for more than a year, and 13 percent receive paid care for more than five years.
Medicare does not cover in-home care, and it will not pay for a stay in a nursing home, so this is not the solution.
Medicaid will pay for a stay in a nursing home, and there is a Community Medicaid program will cover in-home care costs if you can qualify. Since Medicaid is only available to people with limited resources, there is a $15,900 limit on assets in New York.
You may have heard that there is a $2000 Medicaid asset limit because this is the amount that is in place in most states, but New Yorkers get somewhat of a break.
This asset ceiling does not include the value of your home because your place of residence is not a countable asset, but there is an equity limit. It is adjusted annually to account for inflation, but this year, it is $906,000 in New York.
While you can qualify for Medicaid as a homeowner, this is something that you want to avoid if you can. Medicaid is required to seek reimbursement from the estates of deceased beneficiaries.
If you are in direct personal possession of your home at the time of your passing, they can place a lien on the property, though there are some exceptions to the rule.
Community Medicaid Look Back Period
You can convey your home and other assets into an irrevocable, income only trust to get assets out of your name so you can qualify for Community Medicaid. Right now, you can fund the trust and submit your application for eligibility right away because there is no look back period.
There is a five-year look back period that applies to full Medicaid eligibility. If you fund a trust or give gifts to your loved ones, you have to complete the transfers at least five years before you apply for Medicaid.
Before the pandemic hit, a change was implemented in New York. A 30 month look back for Community Medicaid was put in place, but the implementation of this plan has been put on hold because of provisions in the Family First Cares Act.
Legal advocacy groups have learned that the look back period implementation has now been pushed back to July 1st of 2022 at the earliest. This gives you a window of opportunity to take action to qualify for Community Medicaid while there is no look back period.
Take Action Today!
We can help you gain Community Medicaid eligibility in a timely manner so you can beat the deadline. You can schedule a consultation at our Manhattan, NY elder law office if you call us at 212-973-0100, and you can use our contact form if you would like to send us a message.