As our population ages, more and more seniors are choosing to age in place, staying in their homes and communities rather than moving to assisted living or nursing homes. Aging place is always preferred but not always possible. But cost doesn’t need to be a barrier for seniors wishing to live independently.
New York’s Medicaid government-funded healthcare program can provide valuable financial assistance to seniors who want Community Medicaid or require long-term care in a medical facility.
What is Community Medicaid?
Community Medicaid is a type of Medicaid that provides long-term care to seniors or disabled individuals who wish to receive healthcare services in the community rather than in a facility. For seniors who wish to age in place, community Medicaid will pay the cost for home care services – aides who can assist with activities of daily living.
2023 Medicaid Eligibility
To be eligible for community Medicaid, seniors must meet certain income and asset requirements. The income levels and resource limits for community-based Medicaid in 2023 are as follows:
- One-person household: $1,677 per month or $20,124 per year, with a resource limit of $30,182.
- Two-person household (if all are applicants): $2,268 per month or $27,216 per year, with a resource limit of $40,821.
It’s worth noting that the first $20 of monthly income per household is not counted when determining the eligibility of those Medicaid applicants who are aged, blind, or disabled.
What is Chronic Medicaid?
Institutional or Chronic Medicaid is a type of Medicaid long term care that pays the cost of nursing home services.
For seniors who require long-term care in a medical facility, the income level and resource limit for institutional-based Medicaid in 2023 are as follows:
- Individual: $50 per month, with a resource limit of $30,182.
- Community spouse: $3,715.00 per month, with a resource limit of $74,820 or the spousal share (one-half of a married couple’s resources) up to a maximum of $148,620.
It’s important to note that higher amounts may be kept under the “Spousal Refusal” provisions, which can vary by county.
How to Apply for Medicaid
Applying for Medicaid can be a complex process, but it’s worth the effort for seniors who require long term care services and financial assistance. To apply for Medicaid, seniors must submit an application to their state’s Medicaid agency. The application will require detailed information about income, assets, and healthcare needs. It’s important to work with an experienced elder law attorney or Medicaid planning expert to ensure that the application is completed accurately and to maximize eligibility for benefits.
How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help?
As an elder law attorney, I help families submit Medicaid applications and engage in Medicaid planning to protect their assets. One of the powerful tools we use is the Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). This type of trust helps seniors and their families qualify for Medicaid benefits while also preserving their assets for their own use or to pass on to their heirs.
So, how does it work? With a MAPT, seniors can transfer their assets into a trust managed by a trustee, usually a family member. The assets in the trust are protected from being counted for Medicaid eligibility purposes, which can help seniors qualify for benefits without losing their assets.
A major benefit of a MAPT is that it can help seniors protect their assets from being used to pay for long-term care. This means they can retain some control over their assets while also reducing their exposure to costly long-term care bills.
But a MAPT isn’t just about financial protection – it’s about peace of mind. Knowing that you have a plan in place for long-term care can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that often come with aging and healthcare planning.
Medicaid can provide valuable financial assistance to seniors who wish to age in place or require long-term care in a medical facility. By providing access to healthcare services and reducing healthcare costs, Medicaid can help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life. If you or a loved one is considering aging in place or requires long-term care, it’s worth exploring the benefits of Medicaid. Together, we can help seniors achieve their goal of aging in place while maintaining their health and independence – and protecting their legacy.