Medicaid Planning Lawyers in NYC, Protecting Your Assets While Securing Healthcare Benefits
Medicaid is a public health care program that covers around 90 million Americans. If you or a loved one have considered signing up for benefits, you may have found that you’re ineligible to receive them. This is often due to income thresholds set by the states running the program. However, your current Medicaid eligibility does not necessarily dictate whether you may qualify for the program. With the right legal advice and advanced planning, it’s very possible to receive benefits while also protecting the assets you’ve worked so hard for over the years. A Medicaid planning lawyer in NYC may be able to help.
At Marchese & Maynard, LLP, our elder law attorneys have spent years helping clients handle estate planning in a way that qualifies them for Medicaid. Long-term care, serious health conditions, and assisted living facilities can become very expensive. And if you don’t qualify for government programs due to New York’s asset limit, you could easily lose all your savings during the remaining years of your life. Our NYC Medicaid planning attorneys don’t feel this is right. We may be able to help you structure your assets in a way that qualifies you for the healthcare program without losing a dime. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Why Is Medicaid Planning So Important?
Did you know that the average yearly cost of healthcare for a 65-year-old individual in America is over $11,000? Keep in mind this is an average. It doesn’t consider any special needs you may have or nursing home bills you might encounter. If you’ve reached a point in life where you’re earning less or not working, such expenditures can eat through your assets. This is where Medicaid assistance can come into play. However, not everyone meets the eligibility requirements. That doesn’t mean, however, that there’s nothing they can do. This is what makes Medicaid planning so important.
By qualifying for the program, you typically won’t have to go through your savings for healthcare expenditures. Medicaid planning is the strategic process of helping you qualify for benefits — even if your current situation may have barred you from doing so. For instance, what if your current monthly income exceeds the program’s thresholds? If you enter an assisted living facility, that means you could end up paying in excess of $9,000 a month out of your own pocket. Even if you’ve got $200,000 in the bank, you’d only have enough for less than two years of care.
This reality often becomes apparent far too late. This is why you should speak with a Medicaid planning attorney in NYC right now. There are timelines in place, and look-back periods that may count properties you’ve already relinquished as countable assets. If you want to protect everything you’ve worked for, you need an elder law professional on your side. Contact Marchese & Maynard, LLP today to schedule your free consultation.
What Is Considered for Medicaid Eligibility?
When filing a Medicaid application, you’ll encounter a variety of eligibility questions. These can vary depending on which state a person lives in. While it is a federal program, it’s individual states that administer it. This is why there were so many different outcomes when each state was given the option to expand the program. In New York, eligibility requirements aren’t nearly as strict as what we see in other states. However, every Medicaid applicant must fall into specific categories and meet income threshold requirements. To even have a chance of qualifying, you must be one of the following:
- Responsible for a child under the age of 19
- Disabled or living with a disabled family member
- At least 65 years old
Even once you hit the age of 65, however, you won’t necessarily qualify. That’s because there are income thresholds that must be met as well. For an individual person to have Medicaid eligibility in New York City, they must make no more than $18,075 every year. This amount can change every year, and there is also an asset limit in place. Obviously, this income threshold is pretty low for a place like New York City. However, Medicaid planning strategies can help reduce your countable assets so that you can meet financial eligibility requirements. An elder care attorney at our law firm can help you better understand this process.
What Is a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust?
One of the most common ways to secure Medicaid coverage while focusing on asset protection is to create a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). A trust is a legal document that specifies how certain assets — ranging from money and real estate to artwork and bullion — will be dispersed and managed. Assets that are placed in the trust will not be counted toward an income or threshold limit. A MAPT can protect the assets it contains even if your healthcare costs escalate due to becoming chronically ill, having to enter long-term care facilities, or moving into nursing homes.
When it comes to trusts, you often have the option of making them revocable or irrevocable. However, all MAPTs are considered irrevocable trusts. This means that you cannot modify or cancel the trust once it is created. However, it’s not as if your money or properties simply disappear. A Medicaid planning lawyer in NYC can help you create such a trust and transfer assets to your loved ones. You may also find that a revocable living trust is more beneficial than a MAPT in your situation, but this will vary on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of your situation, elder law attorneys may be able to simplify the process.
What if You’ve Been Denied Medicaid Benefits Already?
It’s wise to begin Medicaid planning as soon as possible. Doing this years before you are old enough to qualify will give you plenty of time to discuss issues with family members, plan where your assets will go, and deal with any unexpected hurdles that may arise. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they have Medicaid planning needs until it’s too late. They often discover this fact when starting the application process or receiving a denial notice. If you have found yourself in this situation, you might have a slightly more difficult path going forward. However, an NYC Medicaid planning attorney may still be able to help.
That’s because Medicaid eligibility can change over time. A single denial doesn’t disqualify you from seeking benefits at a later date. The simple fact is that perceived excess income or assets do not necessarily mean you can afford healthcare expenditures. And even if you could afford such costs, it seems unfair that you’ve worked your entire life just to have your nest egg depleted due to medical or nursing home costs. Reapplying after going through the planning process can result in a more beneficial outcome. Medicaid ineligibility doesn’t have to be a permanent issue, and our law firm may be able to help. Contact us today to learn more.
Contact Our Medicaid Planning Lawyers in NYC Today
It’s a well-known fact that healthcare costs balloon in the final years of a person’s life. The reality is that it costs more to stay healthy as we get older. Unfortunately, this can prove detrimental to a person’s financial situation if they don’t have government benefits. Medicaid planners strive to help individuals avoid these difficulties, but this can be challenging for professionals with no legal background. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced NYC elder law attorney on your side. You need someone who works daily to prevent healthcare expenses, nursing home costs, and other expenditures from depleting estates.
At Marchese & Maynard, LLP, that’s exactly what we do. We understand New York’s Medicaid rules and how they affect individuals from all financial backgrounds. This federal program is often viewed as a benefit only for low-income people, but it also provides assistance for children, pregnant women, disabled individuals, and elderly adults. Our law firm is committed to helping clients protect their assets while still getting the healthcare they need. Contact us today by calling 646-362-8600 to schedule a free consultation. Our Medicaid planning lawyers in NYC are ready to discuss your needs and advise you on the best path forward.