You don’t understand how you can work hard your whole life, have a family, and stay out of debt, yet still be unable to afford nursing homes or home care as you age. For many seniors in New York, this is the reality. The majority of your healthcare costs have been covered by Medicare, but Medicare will not pay for nursing home care, so you have no choice but to use up your life savings-which will go quickly due to the high cost of care. If you’ve planned ahead with the help of an experienced Elder Law Attorney in Brooklyn, NY, you won’t have to worry nearly as much about dealing with this difficult situation.
A Lawyer Who Specializes In Elder Law Can Help
A special area of estate planning law, elder law focuses on issues that arise as people age. We provide elder law services such as asset protection, Medicaid planning, guardianships, and powers of attorney for the elderly. Through our compassionate elder law services at Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group, P.C., we’ve helped hundreds of seniors and their children plan for the possibility of declining health, disability, and dementia.
Medicaid Planning: What Is It?
The Medicaid program provides medical assistance to those who fall below a certain income level. While Medicare covers doctors, hospitals, and prescriptions, it does not cover long-term nursing homes or in-home care for the elderly. In-home care and nursing homes can be paid for by Medicaid if a person’s assets are below a certain amount. However,
When determining eligibility, assets held in bank accounts, investment accounts, and second homes are considered. The following assets are not considered:
- It is recommended to transfer the applicant’s personal residence into a Medicaid trust rather than retaining it in their name. (Remember that Medicaid reimbursement will be owed if the residence is held in the applicant’s name.)
- A single vehicle
- Belongings and personal property
- A burial fund and some life insurance
- Trusts that hold specific types of assets
Medicaid benefits may be used for nursing home care under this last exemption, which gives people the opportunity to plan ahead. There are certain types of irrevocable living trusts that can be used to hold assets not counted toward assets when applying for Medicaid if your countable assets exceed that limit. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- A nursing home Medicaid lookback period of five years is in place. If you do not establish the trust five years prior to needing nursing home care, you will not qualify for Medicaid. A Medicaid trust may not be an option if you or a loved one have not planned ahead.
- Medicare home care Medicaid allows a lookback period of one month. Most people believe that applicants for Medicaid home care are always subject to a five-year lookback period on transfers of assets. In New York, the applicant is financially eligible for Medicaid home care assistance on the first of the following month if they transfer all of their non-exempt assets to a Medicaid trust.
Brooklyn Elder Law and Medicaid Planning Attorneys
Our small, family-owned firm is committed to forming personal and lasting relationships with our clients. Our own parents have gone through this type of planning and we understand the hopes our clients have for the future. Our cell phone numbers are available to you when you work with us, and you can text us whenever you need help. No other law firm in New York is as responsive as we are. For more information about our Brooklyn office, call 718-333-5007. A free consultation is available.