Estate Planning

Will Medicaid Pay for My Home Care? [VIDEO]

Doctor writting text MEDICAID with marker,medical concept

New York State’s budget passed in the Spring of 2020 was approved and there are some changes that have been passed that everybody should know about. Effective on October 1, 2020, there will be what’s called a two-and-a-half-year look-back period for the Medicaid program. This is important to know about, particularly for those who are older, because it affects eligibility for Medicaid benefits.

For those who qualify, Medicaid benefits provide payments for long-term care at home, which is called Community Medicaid. The two-and-a-half-year look-back period is something new in the Medicaid law that is designed to help save the State of New York money during this fiscal emergency. 

Many people confuse Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is the program that provides for our health benefits for everyone who is 65 and older, or those who are on disability through the Social Security System. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a bit different. Medicaid provides benefits for those who can’t afford to pay for their own long-term care. Medicaid is a joint program between the federal government and state governments, and the plan benefits vary between states. 

New York happens to have a very generous Medicaid Program and that’s led to it being one of the many places where the state has had to make cuts. It’s simply costing too much for New York State to supply Medicaid benefits to everyone who is eligible without the look-back period. 

Estate planning can help ensure that you don’t run afoul of any new rules like this. By strategically allocating your assets, you can set up trusts and other types of estate planning that will protect your assets for you and your family. Effective planning combined with other legal methods such as spending down assets, redirecting income to a pooled trust, etc. may allow you to apply for Medicaid benefits for long-term care benefits. With the newly enacted “look-back period” for Community Medicaid, it is now more important to plan for long-term care needs through estate planning and insurance, well in advance of when you or your parents may need care. 

When you do planning like this, it gives you peace of mind as well as providing a gift to your family because you’re preserving your assets for them as well as providing a plan that will make your intentions clear. Doing so avoids family disputes when you or a parent may be in dire need of care and assistance. Having family squabbles over how to pay for care during times like this just adds an unnecessary layer of stress. 

The attorneys at Leonick Law are available to discuss planning for your potential long-term care needs. Contact us for a free consultation.

James Leonick

James F. Leonick
Leonick Law, P.L.L.C.
TEL: (631) 486-9500


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