As we previously reported, eligibility criteria for in-home care (“Community Medicaid”) in New York will soon include a new lookback period of 30 months to determine eligibility. The date of implementation has been postponed many times over the past two years, but we have been recently advised that it will not start until, at the earliest, March 1, 2024.
NEW 30-MONTH LOOKBACK PERIOD
Passed in April 2020 by the New York State Legislature, the new laws restrict eligibility for applicants seeking community-based long-term care through Medicaid by subjecting new applicants to a “lookback period“ of 30 months to determine eligibility, if they apply after the lookback is implemented.
This means that gifts and other asset transfers made by applicants during the lookback period will incur a “penalty period,” during which they would be ineligible for Medicaid assistance and would need to pay privately for their care before Medicaid approves them.
Currently, there is no lookback period or penalty imposed for transfers made when applying for Community Medicaid, so it is much easier to obtain the assistance and will remain this way until the new look-back is implemented.
To qualify for institutional (nursing home) Medicaid, however, the lookback period has been and will remain 5 years (for now).
WHAT TO DO
If you or a loved one require or may require Medicaid assistance for in-home care, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss planning options for qualifying and for protecting your assets.