Update on New Medicaid Home Care Law

As we’ve reported in previous posts and videos, the rules for Medicaid home care in New York have changed as of October 1, 2020. Whereas there has never before been a look back period for home care in New York, now as of October 1st, there is a 30-month look back period. Under the new law, when a person applies for home care, the department of social services (DSS) will look at 30 months’ worth of documents to see if the person transferred any assets in that time period in order to qualify for Medicaid.

Although the new rules become effective as of October 1st, the Department of Health (DOH) has delayed the implementation of the new rules until January 1, 2021. This means that for applications submitted between now and December 31st, the local departments will process them the same as they are doing now – without looking back.  DOH has also agreed that the look back period will be phased in. In other words, for applications filed after January 1, 2021, they will look back, but only to October 1, 2020. Any transfers made prior to that date will be grandfathered in under the old rules.

Implementation now appears to be further delayed.

Due to the Federal Public Health Emergency declaration in connection with COVID-19, New York must continue “pausing” the implementation of any Medicaid cuts or it will not continue receiving enhanced Federal Medicaid funding. The federal government has recently extended the Federal Public Health Emergency declaration through the end of January, 2021. We believe it is possible that this may mean that New York must move the effective date of the lookback period from October 1, 2020, to February 1, 2021. If that is the case (which we await word on), people may be able to do transfers up until the end of January. We will report back when we receive further information.

This may open up a planning opportunity for those who need to do planning but who missed the October 1st deadline. If you would like to discuss your situation individually in a free telephone consultation, please feel free to call our office. You will want to call early because we have been flooded with people who are being affected by the new rules. Be well!

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If you are seeking elder law or estate planning assistance, contact NY Elder Law Group today to get started. Call (718) 740-3300 or schedule a consultation through our website.

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