As of January 1, 2018, the New York State Department of Health adjusted the amount of income and assets that a single person who is a Medicaid recipient may have to no more than $15,150 in assets and $845 in monthly income. For eligibility purposes, there are certain assets and income that are considered exempt such as qualifying retirement accounts where the individual is taking monthly-required distributions. A primary residence is also an exempt asset, as well as an irrevocable pre-paid funeral. It is worth mentioning that even though a primary home residence may be an exempt asset for eligibility purposes, there can be estate recovery upon the death of the benefit recipient. In addition, personal property, as well as one vehicle is exempt. Any monthly income in excess of $845.00 may be preserved using a Pooled Income Trust (PIT). In instances where a person has income or assets in excess of the allowable amount, he or she would have to spend down their assets or make an allowable transfer. For this reason, speaking with an estate planning attorney to pre-plan for future needs is important to help preserve assets in the event that home care or skilled nursing care is one day required.
For Community Medicaid, an applicant’s care is covered one month after eligibility and does not have a look back period for any transfers made out of the recipient’s name. However, Chronic Medicaid, which is care that is provided within a skilled nursing facility, has a five-year look back period. This means that the Department of Social Services requires a financial disclosure for five years prior to the date of entering the skilled nursing facility. However, certain transfers to spouses are exempt. If any assets were transferred during that time period, the applicant will have a penalty period imposed on them. It is worth mentioning that a primary residence is not automatically exempt when applying for Chronic Medicaid. The only situations where a primary residence is considered an exempt asset for the purposes of qualifying for Chronic Medicaid is if a spouse, minor, disabled or caretaker child resides in the home. However, if the applicant intends to return home, then the residence will be exempt for a certain period of time.
Community Medicaid and Chronic Medicaid offer family members and loved ones excellent benefits that allow them to receive the care he or she needs, while preserving their assets. Medicaid pays for the largest share of long-term care services, but only if the individual meets the eligibility requirements. The Medicaid application and eligibility professionals at P&P Medicaid Consulting, Inc. assists Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Queens residents in preparing applications for Medicaid eligibility, while taking advantage of programs and planning options that will protect their income and assets. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call our Long Island, New York Medicaid consulting office at (516) 541-4770.