Medicaid Planning and Long Term Care

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As people live longer, discussions about long-term care planning have become far more prevalent and essential for many people. Everyone wants to receive care in their home and never have to go to a nursing home.   Unfortunately, many people can no longer live on their own, or their needs are so high, they cannot get the care they need with in-home services.

Plan for the Possibility of the Worst-Case Scenario

At the Law Offices of Nicole Zuvich, P.C, we plan for the possibility of incapacity, disability, and the ultimate need for care in one’s home or a nursing home. We advise clients on how to plan to secure certain public benefits, such as Medicaid. We advise clients on long-term care insurance, long-term living arrangements, and facility placement.

We often provide advice specific to safely maintaining clients or their loved ones in their homes so that they may delay or avoid placement in a nursing home.

Long-Term Care Insurance is an Excellent Option if it is Available and You can Afford It

Long-term care insurance is an excellent option for those who can qualify for it medically and can afford it. For those who cannot qualify or afford a policy or those whose policies are not sufficient, Medicaid and Asset Protection Planning are critical.

At The Law Offices of Nicole Zuvich, P.C, we do not believe this planning is about saving every penny for your heirs; instead, it is about preserving what you have worked hard for so you can afford the type of care you want and deserve.

For Most People, the Best Option is to Plan for Medicaid Services

The Medicaid programs which are generally applicable to our clients are Home Care, also known as “Community” Medicaid and nursing home, called “Chronic Care” Medicaid. These types of Medicaid assist individuals who are 65 or older, disabled or blind, and qualify based on specific financial and income rules. Medicaid benefits vary from state to state, and base eligibility on strict guidelines.

Home Care or Community refers to Medicaid-covered services for clients seeking assistance with their “activities of daily living” while residing in their homes. Home Care Medicaid can also provide for individuals seeking care in adult model daycare programs and for certain assisted living facilities.  There are a limited number of assisted living facilities that will accept Medicaid as part of the New York State “ALP” program.

Nursing Home Medicaid or Chronic Care refers to the assistance provided to those individuals who require long-term care in a skilled facility. Typically these individuals have exceeded their Medicare coverage and are no longer rehabilitating.

Nursing Facilities are Extremely Expensive, and Requires Long-Term, Detailed Planning

Due to the nature of certain illnesses, a skilled facility may be the best and only option. The average cost of a nursing home in the New York Metro area and the Long Island region ranges from $10,000 to over $17,000 per month.

New Guidelines set for late 2020 Will Require Long-Term Planning

In 2005, the Deficit Reduction Act created more significant restrictions and rules governing Medicaid eligibility.   In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law more restrictive guidelines, such as a 30-month lookback period for Home Care services.  These new guidelines go into effect in late 2020.

It is vital to proactively plan for Medicaid, especially for those individuals who do not qualify for other long-term care planning options.

Call the Law Offices of Nicole Zuvich to Discuss Medicaid and Long-Term Planning

At the Law Offices of Nicole Zuvich, P.C, we advise on appropriate Medicaid planning strategies, including structured gifting strategies.  Clients are often under the misconception that they must gift away assets or add a loved one’s name to an asset to plan for Medicaid eligibility. Some of these strategies disqualify one from specific Medicaid programs, but they can also expose assets to unforeseen issues and liabilities.

When it comes to Medicaid planning, the earlier you start to plan, the better it is for you and your family.  Call the Law Offices of Nicole Zuvich at 516-880-9988 to schedule an appointment to discuss your long-term plans, including Medicaid planning.

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