Perhaps the most common misconception about Medicaid is that it is solely a program for the poor. While Medicaid does provide services to those who are impoverished, it also serves to prevent families from becoming impoverished from the costs of long-term health care.
Medicaid is a joint Federal and State program administered by local governments. To qualify for Medicaid in New York, an applicant must demonstrate financial need and, if accepted, may only retain resources determined to be exempt by Medicaid or which are within Medicaid’s financial limits. These resources include one’s personal automobile, essential personal effects such as clothing and furniture, and, quite often, one’s home.
To bring oneself within these qualifying Medicaid financial limits one generally must either spend down his or her assets or make sufficient transfers of these assets to reach the permitted level of resources. There are v exemptions for specific types of income and resources, including transfers to one’s spouse and to adult disabled children. Additionally, there are spousal protections available for a non-applying spouse to protect him or her from impoverishment due to the medical bills of the applicant spouse.
When planning with respect to Medicaid, the goal is to devise a plan which will give you peace of mind and take full advantage of the social programs designed to prevent your impoverishment from the costs of long-term care. Medicaid is an intricate and constantly changing area of the law that requires skilled counsel to take full advantage of the planning opportunities available. With proper assistance, securing for yourself or your loved one financial security and peace of mind is entirely possible.
To schedule an appointment with a lawyer skilled in this complex area of elder law, contact the law firm Piede Sun LLP.