Have you considered that in every state, Medicaid rules intersect with estate planning guidance? New York is no different. Your Medicaid eligibility is impacted by your assets and it can be important to understand your options if you want to plan for Medicaid eligibility. In New York, you should consider long term care planning or Medicaid planning in addition to basic estate planning. To be most effective, your plan should remain consistently mindful of the most current New York Medicaid laws. Recent changes have altered critical elements of Medicaid eligibility, such as the look-back period.
There is a 5-year, or 60-month, “look-back” period for most Medicaid eligibility planning. What this means in plain terms is that, if you place your assets into a trust that removes them from consideration for your Medicaid eligibility, you need to do so at least 5 years, or 60 months, prior to applying for many Medicaid services. Keep in mind that, while almost all forms of income will count towards your Medicaid eligibility, certain types of assets including 401ks and IRAs in payout status and the equity in a primary home valued at less than $893,000 are automatically exempt from being counted.
In the past, the look-back period was applied differently for in-home care than for other Medicaid services. As of January 1, 2021, however, a look-back period will be implemented for both home and community based long-term care services, including but not limited to, home health care, adult day care, personal care assistance, and assisted living services. The look-back period will start at 3 months and increase gradually by one month in each subsequent month until it reaches 30 months, or 2.5 years. This is still only half the look-back period for other Medicaid services, but it is worth discussing with your long-term care planning attorney to ensure that any asset protection measures you are taking make sense under the new rule.
To help ensure your Medicaid planning accounts for the new Medicaid rules in New York, contact our office today to schedule a meeting time.