April 29, 2020

New Look-Back Period for New York Community Medicaid

By Kelly Wilks, Paralegal, Tax & Business Services

New Look-Back Period for New York Community Medicaid Private Client Services

Recently, New York passed a budget which includes significant cuts to its Medicaid long-term care program. Beginning October 1, 2020, New York will impose a look-back period of 30 months or 2.5 years on qualifying for Community Medicaid (or home care) benefits. If a transfer is made for less than fair market value (gift) and does not qualify as an exception, it may result in a period of ineligibility. Prior to this change, New York did not impose any look-back period for these benefits, and thus, applicants were able to transfer assets or make gifts without penalization.

The new rule does not affect those who are currently receiving Medicaid benefits. It also does not affect those who wish to apply for Institutional Medicaid (or nursing home) benefits which continues to maintain a 5 year look-back period for eligibility.

Although this change may not affect many of our clients directly, it will certainly impact their aging or disabled parents, grandparents, and other family members and friends. Those who are disabled or elderly may not wish to have an aide in their homes at this time. However it is important to begin the process of Medicaid planning as soon as possible. Once approved, the Medicaid recipient may place a hold on services until it is safer to have aides in their home.

If you have questions about Medicaid eligibility, you may reach Kelly Wilks at [email protected]. This is also an important time for estate planning and estate and trust administration. Please feel free to also contact Kelly with questions regarding trusts and estates.