Medicaid Eligibility in New York

Antony Lee Turbeville

October 11, 2022

Medicaid Eligibility

Medicaid eligibility in New York can be obtained through a variety of methods. Applicants can apply by mail, telephone, at their local social service department, or online. The state of health website also provides information on how to apply. Learn more about Medicaid eligibility. This article outlines the different eligibility requirements.

Asset spend-down to qualify for Medicaid

If you have assets in excess of the limit for Medicaid, the most effective way to spend them down is to sell them. This will lower your countable assets and help you qualify for Medicaid. However, you should be careful not to overspend. This can cause ineligibility, so it is important to get expert advice from Medicaid planners before spending down any assets.

Assets that count towards the limit for Medicaid eligibility include cash, investments, and vacation homes. However, there are several types of assets that are not countable. These include pre-paid funeral expenses, burial funds up to $1,500, and cars. The primary residence of the applicant is also exempt, as long as the equity in it is below $955,000, which is the home’s value after subtracting all debts. For example, pre-paying funeral expenses may be a good way to reduce your assets.

Look-back period

The State of California has not yet finalized their rules on the look-back period for Medicaid eligibility in the state. However, they are trying to implement a 30-month look-back period for non-MAGI budgeting categories, which include Ticket to Work categories and Medically Needy Blind and Disabled individuals. They will provide guidance regarding the groups and the look-back period.

The look-back period will begin for people who apply for Medicaid after December 31, 2020. It also prevents people from transferring assets to their spouses. The look-back period will be factored in the calculations made by the Medicaid agency. In order to apply for Medicaid benefits in New York, applicants must submit financial records during this time period.

Exemptions from counting assets as resources

These include cash, stocks and investments, vacation homes, and savings and checking accounts. However, there are many things you can do to reduce the amount of countable assets. For instance, you can spend down your assets by paying off past due medical bills within the last six years. You can also pay off debts and make home modifications. Another important thing to note is that you cannot gift or sell assets for less than their fair market value. This violates the Medicaid look back rule and will result in a penalty period.

In addition to selling assets, you can set up an irrevocable living trust. This is an ideal solution if you have a large estate. In this way, you can avoid probate and Medicaid eligibility while keeping your home. In addition, you can protect your assets by transferring them to other people or by a promissory note/gift. You will never have to spend down all your assets.

Strategies used by Medicaid attorneys to qualify a client

Medicaid eligibility rules can be complex, and a qualified attorney can help a client understand them. For example, Medicaid will not cover all costs of long-term care, so Medicaid applicants should consider their assets and their timeframe for planning. They should also consider their marital status, family support, and whether they own or rent their home. Keeping as many assets as possible can help a client qualify for Medicaid without giving up their house or family home.

Medicaid attorneys can help you establish a legal trust or a controlled gifting plan. They will also assist you in structuring documents and executing agreements that protect your assets before you apply for benefits.

Another strategy used by Medicaid attorneys to qualify a client is to use an irrevocable trust, otherwise known as a Miller Trust. These trusts contain funds that are set aside for specific purposes and do not count against a client’s Medicaid income limit. This strategy is best implemented several months prior to needing to use the money for long-term care.