By Howard S. Krooks, Esq., CELA, CAP, Partner, Elder Law Associates PA, and Of Counsel, Amoruso & Amoruso LLP
The new effective date will be April 1, 2021 (previously scheduled to become effective on October 1, 2020), for New York State to begin implementing a 30-month lookback for eligibility for community-based Medicaid (note: the chronic nursing home Medicaid’s lookback period remains at 60 months and is unaffected by this new rule).
Previously, there was no lookback period for the community program, which meant that an application could be prepared and submitted without concern for asset transfers and with minimal advance planning. Community Medicaid services include home health aides, private duty nursing, personal care services, and the Assisted Living Program (known as “ALP”).
Apply Now to Avoid the Lookback Period
If you are considering applying for community-based Medicaid for yourself, your spouse or a loved one in New York, you may want to do it now, and certainly before April 1, 2021, to avoid the lookback period.
After March 31, 2021, Medicaid applications for community services will be subject to strict asset limitations (which existed even before the new lookback period being implemented) and the applicant will be penalized for transfers of assets made in the last 30 months. This essentially makes last-minute planning unavailable because any asset transfers will cause you to be ineligible for community services. However, if you have some time before you will need Medicaid to cover long-term care costs, now is the perfect time to review your finances, engage in estate planning, and to do some Medicaid planning to protect your assets.
An Irrevocable Trust Can Protect Assets
One planning technique we’ve used successfully with many clients is an Irrevocable Trust, which, if properly funded, can protect your assets and ensure eligibility for Medicaid in the future. However, it can be challenging to know how much money to place in an Irrevocable Trust to protect your estate, while still leaving you enough resources on hand to pay your expenses and continue living your life in the manner in which you are accustomed. We counsel our clients through these difficult decisions so that they may preserve their assets and still qualify for needed long-term care services.
Professional Assistance with
New York Medicaid
As a certified elder law attorney licensed and practicing in New York for more than 30 years, I can assist you with your New York Medicaid and estate planning, whether you want to apply for Medicaid now before the April 1, 2021 effective date, or if you want to do some smart planning for Medicaid eligibility at a later date. For more information or to set up a consultation to discuss your particular situation, give me a call today at 1-800-ELDERLAW or visit www.ElderLawAssociates.com.