Posts Tagged ‘medicaid planning’

Medicaid Asset Transfers: What Are The Rules?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

For many families, paying for a loved one’s extended stay in a nursing home would be difficult without the help of Medicaid. However, in order to qualify for the program, a person’s income and assets must fall within certain limits.

Federal rules state that to qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage, a person must have no more than $2,000 in “countable” assets. However, New York State has more generous rules, so for New York residents in 2016 the limit is $14,850 for a single person. If a married person needs nursing home care, there are protections for a spouse who remains outside. In this situation, the community spouse has a maximum threshold of &74,820 to $119,220 ($14,850 for the institutionalized person and $119,220 for that person’s spouse). Certain types of resources are exempt, such as up to $828,000 of equity in a home and one motor vehicle.

Littman Krooks Elder LawIf you have countable resources above the limits, you may be told that you need to “spend down” your assets, paying for nursing home care yourself, until you reach the resource limits, at which point Medicaid begins covering the cost. This is what happens in many cases. In other cases, a family may anticipate the need for long-term care and wish to transfer assets to the next generation ahead of time, in order to preserve the family’s resources while still qualifying for Medicaid. This is an excellent strategy, as long as the Medicaid rules are followed.

Medicaid has a five-year “look-back” period for transfers of assets. A person applying for Medicaid must disclose all financial transactions for the previous five years. During this time, any transfers of assets for less than fair market value may prevent the person from being eligible for Medicaid. (However, in New York State, the asset transfer rules do not apply for recipients of Medicaid for home care services.) In addition, invalid transfers may result in a costly penalty period during which ineligibility may continue even after assets are spent down.

To avoid ineligibility and penalties, it is important to plan ahead. Transfers made more than five years in advance are not affected by the rules. There are also important exceptions to the asset transfer rules as well as legal strategies including certain trusts that can help preserve assets while ensuring eligibility. As you can see, Medicaid planning is very complex and it is essential to have help from a qualified elder law attorney.


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Medicaid Offers Home Attendant Services For Eligible Individuals

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

New Yorkers who have Medicaid and need home attendant services can have this type of care covered. Approval is granted when financial and medical criteria are met, and an individual submits an M11q form that his or her doctor has thoroughly completed. These services can offer substantial savings for an individual and their family, and helps to provide for daily care.

Personal care services, which are also called home attendant services, can greatly assist individuals affected by physical or mental impairments. Individuals who have excess resources or income can get the skilled advice of a New York Medicaid planning lawyer to access benefits and preserve assets. Once home care is authorized, an attendant can assist from 12 hours a week to around-the-clock care.

It is also important for people who have been denied benefits to have their case reviewed. An experienced Medicaid planning attorney can uphold an individual’s rights and ensure that the medical and financial information is complete when a hearing is needed to seek benefits the second time around. Hearings can also be expedited in certain circumstances.

Littman Krooks LLP counsels individuals and families on how to access Medicaid benefits and plan for comprehensive care and estate matters. Our New York City, White Plains and Fishkill Medicaid planning attorneys are well versed in state regulations, benefits, and asset protection. To learn more, visit