Medicaid Alert! Make Gift Transfers Before October 1 to Avoid Penalty Period

September 10, 2020

If you or a loved one will require Medicaid home care or community-based services in the state of New York, be sure to conduct all gift transfers before October 1. Effective January 1, 2021, a 30-month look-back period will be applied to Medicaid home care and community-based services for gift transfers made on or after October 1. This new rule, as well as other significant changes to Medicaid, came about due to the New York state budget enacted in April 2020.

The recent changes to Medicaid in New York may make home care or community-based services more expensive for some individuals. The following facts are important to know:

  • Transfers of property, money, or other gifts to family members or others before October 1 will not be subject to a penalty period.
  • A penalty period is a time during which Medicaid will not pay for services.
  • The eligibility criteria for Medicaid home care services have also changed.
  • After October 1, housekeeping will longer be considered a provided Medicaid personal care service.

These changes only apply to in-home and community-based care. In the state of New York, Medicaid has always had a five-year lookback period for nursing home care. If any gifts were made during that period, applicants face a penalty period during which they are ineligible for Medicaid nursing home care.

Medicaid planning can be complicated. The recent changes to New York law add a new layer of complexity to the process and may result in higher costs for the elderly who are not aware of the regulations going into effect on October 1. Reaching out to a qualified elder law attorney can help individuals ensure that they preserve their assets for their loved ones while maintaining their eligibility for Medicaid benefits needed to pay for quality care.

If you have questions about long-term health care financing, trust the Brooklyn elder law attorneys at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP to provide sound legal guidance with a compassionate touch. We are up to date with the most recent changes in Medicaid law and we will answer all your questions and concerns to put your mind at ease. Do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 212-495-8133 to arrange a confidential consultation. Located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Lakewood, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New York and New Jersey.