If you or a loved one are looking into nursing home care in New York, you are probably discovering how incredibly expensive it is. Unfortunately, Medicare won’t pay for a nursing home except for a short stay following a hospitalization.
Unless you have a long-term care insurance policy, or sufficient assets to pay for the stay, you will probably need to apply for Medicaid to pay for a nursing home.
However, Medicaid only pays for the expense of a nursing home if you meet certain income and asset requirements. You will be required to pay for the nursing home until your income or assets meet those requirements. Often, people who learn about the rules for Medicaid and nursing homes will immediately transfer assets to family members in order to qualify for Medicaid.
However, Medicaid has something called a “look-back period”. When applying for Medicaid for a nursing home, the Department of Social Services will look at financial transactions to determine if any assets have been transferred for less than fair market value within the last 60 months, which is called the look-back period.
If assets were given away, a penalty period will be imposed, during which the individual will be ineligible for Medicaid. If you make a home transfer during the look-back period to your spouse, a child under the age of 21, siblings who have an equity interest in the home and resided in it for at least a year, or an adult child who lived in the home for at least two years and who provided care for you, that transfer will not result in a penalty.
The rules surrounding Medicaid and nursing homes are complicated. If you make a mistake, it could cost you dearly. If you are in New York and are interested in learning more about how to qualify for Medicaid for a nursing home, call the New York Elder Law Attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444. We have multiple offices across the state at which to serve you. Call us today to learn more.