Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

New York Medicaid planning

Most New Yorkers are aware of the political battle that has been raging over healthcare in the U.S. during the past few years. While President Obama and Congress managed to pass some important health care reforms, it is possible that those may be rescinded depending on the outcome of the 2016 presidential and congressional elections.

One key component of Obamacare was an expansion of Medicaid. States were asked to expand coverage to those who made 133 percent of the poverty line. In exchange, the federal government agreed to pay for that expansion 100 percent through 2016 with a reduction to a 90 percent reimbursement by 2020.

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out of the Medicaid expansion, and 20 of them did. In this landscape, Medicaid planning is more difficult. Medicaid planning is helping to make certain a person will be eligible for Medicaid to pay for needed nursing home care. Without Medicaid, some are left unable to afford the care while others have their entire estates depleted.

There are several ways to transfer assets a few years in advance of when nursing home care may be needed. This can help people qualify for Medicaid so that the state pays for the nursing home care. As the laws continually change, it may be important for people to meet with their estate planning attorneys to make certain they are on track for meeting eligibility guidelines. An attorney may review their client's assets and help them to get their estates and their incomes within state guidelines for Medicaid eligibility. Nursing homes are very expensive, and planning ahead can help to save thousands of dollars. It might also mean the difference between an elderly person being able to access the care and being unable to do so.

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