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New York Imposing Transfer Penalties for Community Medicaid

New York Imposing Transfer Penalties for Community Medicaid

Medicaid is a needs-based government assistance program that provides health insurance and institutional (nursing home) and community (home care) long-term care benefits to individuals who fall below annually adjusted resource and income limits.

New and troubling laws passed late last week as part of the NYS budget have drastically changed eligibility criteria for elderly and disabled applicants seeking community-based long-term care services through Medicaid.

Starting October 1, 2020, elderly and disabled applicants for community Medicaid will be subject to a NEW look-back period of 30 months. Prior to the enactment of these laws New York did not penalize applicants for making gift transfers before applying for community Medicaid, but under the new laws applicants will be penalized for making any such transfers that occurred during the look-back period.

Therefore, absent certain exceptions, one will have had to shelter their assets 30 months before needing assistance in order to qualify for community Medicaid. Any non-exempt transfer of an asset by the individual or the individual’s spouse for less than fair market value made within or after the look-back period will render the person ineligible for community-based long-term care services.

If you or a loved one requires the assistance of an aide in your home and wish to apply for Medicaid, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible to begin the application process.

Additionally, those who do not yet need assistance but may need it in the future should contact our office to begin the planning process in order to protect their assets.

Both the planning and the Medicaid application process take time, so you should begin right away. Our team is available by phone, email, and virtual meetings to help you.

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Constantina Papageorgiou is a partner in Vishnick McGovern Milizio LLP's Trust and Estate and Elder Law Practices, focusing on estate planning and administration and elder law matters.

She can be reached at cpapageorgiou@vmmlegal.com and 516.437.4385 x141