Elder law attorneys help clients address the potential impact of long-term care costs. These expenses can be considerable, and most senior citizens will need paid living assistance at some point in time. The NY Community Medicaid Program can be the solution, and we will explain the details here.
A lot of people assume that Medicare would pay for a stay in a nursing home or professional in-home care. After all, it is a health insurance program that is largely for senior citizens, and most of these folks will in fact need help with their activities of daily living.
Whether it is fair or not, Medicare does not cover the custodial care that nursing homes provide, and it will not pick up the tab for in-home care that is provided by a home health aide.
You can expect to pay over $170,000 for a year in a quality Manhattan area nursing home. This is a hefty sum of money to produce when you have been retired for decades, and more than half of people that require paid assistance receive the care for over a year.
When you mix in the fact that a married couple may face two different sets of long-term care bills, you can see why this is a pressing elder law issue.
Aging in Place
It is wise to plan ahead in advance with the idea that you will probably need living assistance in the future.
One of the reasons why people move into outside facilities is because of the way they are constructed. There are modifications that make life easier for seniors with mobility challenges, but it can be difficult to leave familiar surroundings.
There is a solution the form of aging in place modifications. You can alter your living space as a senior citizen to match your needs, and this can be an evolving process.
Some common modifications include grab bars, handrails, outdoor ramps, smart home technology, and walk-in showers and tubs. These are just a handful of the many different types of improvements that can be made.
In some cases, a senior that needs assistance will move in with an adult child, and aging in place modifications can be made in the child caregiver’s home to facilitate the transition.
NY Community Medicaid Program
From a financial perspective, there is a solution if you can receive the living assistance you need in your own home from a professional health aide. The New York Community Medicaid program will cover in-home care costs.
This can be the ideal solution, but you have to be able to qualify for Medicaid to become eligible for the waiver. There is a $28,133 asset limit in our state, and this presents a hurdle, but it can be crossed with the proper planning.
Your home is not a countable asset with an equity limit of $1.033 million this year. However, Medicaid could place a lien on the home if you are a beneficiary and it is in your direct personal possession at the time of your death.
In an effort to gain eligibility in the future, you could convey your home, income-producing assets, and other valuable resources into an income only irrevocable trust. You could continue to receive distributions of the trust’s earnings, but you would no longer have access to the principal.
Many people rely on the income, and they have no intention of spending the source of it, so this can potentially be done without impacting your lifestyle.
Look-Back Period Looming
If you have to move into nursing home, Medicaid will pay for that type of custodial care as well. However, there is a five year look back period. You have to fund a Medicaid trust at least 5 years before you apply, or your eligibility will be delayed.
Right now, there is no look-back period for the NY Community Medicaid Program. However, prior to the pandemic, a 30-month look-back was implemented. However, they have been pushing back the starting date because of legislative prohibitions on the federal level. For a limited time, you can still qualify for Community Medicaid without being concerned about a look-back, and we can show you how.
Take Action: Watch Our On-Demand Webinar
You can prevent a difficult situation and preserve your legacy for the benefit of your loved ones if you take the appropriate steps in advance. We can gain an understanding of your situation and provide recommendations based on the circumstances.
At the end of the process, you can go forward with a custom crafted plan for aging that culminates in the effective passing of your legacy when the time comes.
We are ready to spring into action if you would like to work with our estate planning attorney S.J. Khalsa in the Manhattan and surrounding areas so that we can design a custom crafted plan for you. You can view our on-demand webinar to learn about Medicaid planning and how our talented team can help you through your specific situation. Contact our office at (212) 973-0100 if you have any questions following the webinar – or to schedule a consultation.
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