While NYS Medicaid has had a five (5) year lookback for Nursing Home coverage, historically, Medicaid did not look at asset and financial transfers in determining eligibility for in home health care, known as community Medicaid.
New York State had announced significant changes to the community Medicaid program specifically directing a two and half year lookback period effective October 1, 2020. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the new lookback will likely not be implemented until July 1, 2021 and therefore asset transfers will not result in penalties as long as the application seeking eligibility is filed before July 1, 2021. If the application is not filed by April 1, 2022, transfers after October 1, 2020 will be subject to the lookback.
For example, Lisa and David are in their mid to late seventies and own a home along with a savings and retirement account. They have always known in the back of their minds that they would like to utilize the Medicaid home care program for a home health aide as their health has declined and their ability to tend to their own personal needs became impaired. However, due to their busy schedule and the affect of the COVID 19 pandemic, they did not address this issue. Under the new law, it is imperativethat Lisa and David speak to an Elder Care attorney and transfer their assets into an Irrevocable Trust and apply for Medicaid prior to April 1, 2022 to avoid incurring any penalties. If they wait to transfer their assets, they will still be eligible for Medicaid but will be subject to an initial penalty.
It is for this reason that time is of the essence to consult with an experienced elder care lawyer to discuss your particular needs.