A Big Change to NY Community Medicaid

A big change is coming to NY Community Medicaid (Home Care) that may warrant a consultation with an elder law attorney sooner rather than later if you or a loved one is on the cusp of needing long-term care services and want to explore Medicaid eligibility as a way to pay for those services.

There is currently no “lookback” period applicable to transfers of wealth as part of the NY Community Medicaid application. This has allowed individuals to use, legally and without penalty, a variety of strategies to transfer ownership of excess income and assets to become eligible for benefits almost immediately both legally and without penalty. Effective October 1, 2020, this practice will change and a 30-month lookback period will be introduced. The specifics about this dramatic change and how it will be implemented are still unknown, but at Loganzo & Mantell, we realize that this can significantly impact many of our clients’ long-term care plans, and wanted to let you know right away.

Here are the details that have been made public so far:

  • The lookback will apply to “community based long term care services.” These are defined as “home health care services, private duty nursing services, personal care services, assisted living program services and such other services for which medical assistance is otherwise available under this chapter which are designated as long term care services in the regulations of the department.”
  • You may remember that the five-year lookback period for the DRA instituted in 2005 was “phased in” and only applied to transfers after a certain date. At this time, it does not appear that there are any plans to “phase in” this change.
  • It is not yet clear if the lookback and penalty will affect existing cases or only those started after October 1st. 
  • Some transfer exemptions will apply, including the purchase of a promissory note, purchase of a life estate, caregiver agreement, loan, or mortgage, and transfer to a spouse, disabled child, or trust benefitting a disabled child.
  • A gift and loan strategy also will likely still be an available option.

If you believe this change will affect you and aren’t sure what you should do, the Loganzo & Mantell team is here to help. We are gathering information about this situation as it becomes available and are ready to work with you to plan accordingly. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us for guidance!

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Loganzo & Mantell PLLC

At Loganzo & Mantell PLLC, we chose our practice areas for two simple reasons: we want businesses to succeed, and we want families to thrive. In other words, we care. That’s why our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys work closely with clients to understand their priorities in business and in life.

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