New York Medicaid Planning Lawyers
Medicaid and Medicare are both federal health insurance programs, but there are important differences. While Medicare provides health insurance for people age 65 or older, it does not pay for extended care in a skilled nursing facility or other long-term care. These costs can be covered by Medicaid, but in order to qualify, a person’s income and assets must fall below a certain level.
If you are eligible, Medicaid covers:
- Physician’s services
- Hospital care
- Long-term care either in your home or a skilled nursing facility
- Other reasonable and necessary services
If assets are too high, a patient may have to enter a nursing home on a private payment basis and “spend down” to the Medicaid eligibility level before receiving coverage. Although the individual’s home is excluded from the assets calculations, Medicaid can bill the estate for care after the patient passes away. And Medicaid has a “look-back” period, during which certain gifts affect eligibility, preventing a person from simply giving his or her property to his or her children before entering a nursing home.
For 2016, the following rules apply:
- The asset allowance for an individual is $14,850.
- Married couples who apply for home care together are allowed to retain $1,209 in monthly income (plus a $20 unearned income credit for some couples) and up to $21,750 in assets.
- If the applicant is not married and receives health care at home, he or she will be entitled to retain $825 of monthly income (plus a $20 unearned income credit in some instances).
- An individual, whether single or married, receiving skilled nursing care, is allowed to retain only $50 of monthly income as a personal allowance.
Fortunately, you don’t need to exhaust all your assets to meet the Medicaid “spend down” requirements. The estate planning attorneys at Littman Krooks can employ different strategies that protect certain assets while ensuring that you are able to take advantage of Medicaid eligibility to pay for long-term care.
A Littman Krooks attorney can help.
An experienced Littman Krooks Medicaid planning attorney can provide the details and implications of the Medicaid rules. We have decades of experience in protecting your assets, and we can advise you as you plan for your future and your particular situation.
Our attorneys can prepare and submit your Medicaid application and represent you before the local Medicaid agency. You can approach the application process confidently, knowing that you have the best available information, preparation and support from our team.
Our attorneys are also experts in broader legal issues of estate planning. We can implement Medicaid-related documents, including a Durable Power of Attorney, trusts and wills to help you create one complete plan for your future and the future of your loved ones.