Medicaid Q & A
Medicaid Q & A | White Plains, NY, Elder Law Attorney

Serving clients throughout Westchester County, including Mount Kisco and White Plains, New York, elder law attorney Neil H. Reig offers knowledgeable, experienced advice and counsel to clients with Medicaid needs and concerns. Call his firm today at 914-242-4800 to arrange an initial consultation. Or, you may review some of the frequently asked questions the firm receives about Medicaid and Medicaid eligibility.


Q. What are the income requirements for New York Medicaid eligibility?

A. The amount of income allowed which will not disqualify you for Medicaid benefits, will vary depending on the type of application. Effective January 1, 2011, the maximum monthly income allowed for a "community-based" (including home care) medicaid applicant who is blind, disabled or over the age of 65 is $767. Again, this amount increases with the increase in household size and is adjusted annually. However, Mr. Reig can show you how you may qualify financially for a community-based Medicaid benefits even if your income exceeds the applicable limit.


Q. What assets can I keep and still be eligible for Medicaid?

A. Under New York Medicaid rules, an individual cannot have more than a maximum amount of resources (assets) and still qualify for Medicaid. As of January 1, 2011, this maximum amount of resources is $13,800. Additionally, an individual is entitled to keep certain assets, including personal possessions and still be eligible for Medicaid benefits. There are different rules applicable to married couples and special rules that apply to your home.


Q. How can I protect my home and still be eligible for Medicaid?

A. One of the most pressing concerns for individuals and families is how to protect the residential home. The most effective method to protect your home is proactive planning with the guidance of a skilled Medicaid planning lawyer. While there are numerous strategies, from creating trusts to transferring deeds, these strategies can have advantages and disadvantages that must be considered in light of possible income and estate tax consequences as well as the length of time before benefits will be necessary. White Plains, New York, elder law attorney Neil H. Reig can provide a thorough analysis of your situation and advise you of effective strategies to protect your home based on your unique situation.


Q. Can I just transfer assets to my kids in order to become eligible for Medicaid?

A. Generally, no. Medicaid has strict look-back periods for asset transfers and gifts, including gifts to children. In the absence of an exception, if gifts are made to your children within the five years prior to your Medicaid nursing home application, a penalty period will be assessed, the length of which will depend upon the amount of assets transferred. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and Mr. Reig will explore all exceptions that might be relevant in your case.


Q. Can the existence of retirement accounts affect Medicaid eligibility?

A. Yes. In determining Medicaid eligibility, the resources of both the applicant and his or her spouse are analyzed. For purposes of determining eligibility, any asset to which either party is entitled is considered a usually countable resource. This may include the entire value of a retirement account. However, Mr. Reig can show you how most of your hard-earned retirement savings may be protected while still qualifying for Medicaid benefits.


Q. What will happen to my spouse if I get sick and need Medicaid?

A. A spouse is given certain protections under the law and will not become destitute. He or she is entitled to an enhanced income and resource allowance, and under some circumstances, to a portion or all of your own income. Mr. Reig has extensive experience protecting the interests of spouses of institutionalized individuals and can help protect assets and ensure the financially security of your spouse in the event you need long term care.


Contact a Mount Kisco Medicaid Eligibility and Application Attorney

Contact Westchester County, New York, elder law lawyer Neil H. Reig to obtain honest answers to your questions, to learn about your options and to begin the process of planning for your future and the future of loved ones. Call his estate planning law firm at 914-242-4800.

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