Integrating Estate Planning

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Many people are not aware of the opportunity they have to gain eligibility for Medicaid benefits, which include a variety of health care programs and services, and most significantly, long-term care at home or in an assisted living facility or a nursing home.  Elder Law Medicaid planning involves taking the steps needed to protect your assets and income, and, at the same time, to become eligible for benefits.

Yet so many people never bother, because they mistakenly think “I have too much money and too much income to be eligible,” or they believe that Medicaid’s five-year “look back” will get them in trouble if they transfer their assets.

These are common misconceptions.  Most New York City and New York Metro area residents can become Medicaid eligible and receive benefits, by working with a Medicaid planning attorney in the  NYC, Westchester and NY Metro area. An attorney experienced in Medicaid planning can implement appropriate and completely reliable strategies that are consistent with Federal and state laws.

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A skilled Medicaid lawyer can evaluate your situation and provide information about how you can obtain these benefits.

The most common misconception we observe, and the biggest reason people believe they cannot access Medicaid benefits, regards the five year “look back” period.  While the "look back" currently applied only to Medicaid Nursing Home applications, there could be a "look back" for Community Medicaid applications in our future. As part of the State budget that passed in April 2020, the NY State legislature enacted a 30-month look back for community Medicaid services that will apply to uncompensated transfers that occur on or after October 1, 2020.  However, implementation of this new "look back" has been repeatedly delayed, and most recently has been pushed back to 2025. Contact Lamson & Cutner to find out the current status of the implementation.

This is a dramatic change to the Community Medicaid landscape.  The new restrictions will result in many people paying more for their health care and long-term care than they would have needed to, prior to the change.  Fortunately, New Yorkers will still be able to preserve a good portion of their assets, if they take the right legal steps.

As experienced Elder Law attorneys, our firm has achieved tremendous savings for our clients by helping them to protect their assets.  We recommend taking these legal steps only if we are confident the savings will significantly outweigh the cost of the legal work involved.

Details regarding the implementation of the upcoming changes to the Medicaid program have not yet been fully finalized.

Even if you need nursing home care — where the five year “look back” will continue to apply — and have not planned ahead, there are usually Medicaid nursing home care strategies that can enable you to preserve a good portion of your assets.

When you are over 65 or disabled, the government has two health care plans.  Medicare is health insurance for seniors and the disabled.  It pays expenses related to short-term illness or injury, acute care and rehabilitation.  However, it does not pay for long term care.

Medicaid is also health insurance.  In addition, it provides benefits for those needing long-term care who are permanently ill, injured or disabled, and who qualify financially under the Medicaid rules.  It is the only source of payment for long-term care, other than your own funds or long-term care insurance.  Medicaid is a federal, state, and locally funded program, and the rules regarding eligibility and implementation vary widely from state to state.

If you need long-term care, and have not planned ahead, you may be shocked by how quickly the exorbitant cost of health care services will drain your life’s savings.  Many people are not aware that there are proven, reliable strategies that can protect all or a good portion of their savings while still enabling them to obtain government coverage for their health care.  Working with a Westchester Medicaid attorney to take advantage of these strategies can mean that your money can still be used to maintain your lifestyle, that you can remain in your own home as long as it is safe to do so, and that you can live out your final years in comfort and dignity.

Contact an experienced Elder Law attorney at Lamson & Cutner, P.C. for Medicaid planning in NYC, Westchester County and the NY Metro area today.

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