• Your Elder Law, Trust & Estates Attorney

2020 NYS BUDGET Makes Major Changes to Medicaid Home Care Effective October 1, 2020

Major changes were made to Community Medicaid with the passage of the 2020 NYS budget in April.  Currently, in order to qualify for Community Medicaid, which provides home care aides, an individual may only have $15,750 in total assets and income up to $875 per month and there is a one month “look back” period on the transfer of assets in order to get down to the $15,750 limit.

Starting October 1, 2020, there will be a 30-month (or 2.5 year) “look back” period for people applying for Community Medicaid. That means that Medicaid will “look back” at financial transactions made during the 30-month period before the date of application, and impose a penalty for any gifts and unexplained large asset transfers made during that period.

Furthermore, the requirements for eligibility for Medicaid’s community based long term care services such as home health care services, private duty nursing services, assisted living program services and Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Programs which allow hiring of family members will be increased.  Under the changes, a Medicaid applicant must have limited assistance with physical maneuvering in connection with three or more activities of daily living (ADLs).  However, individuals with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s must need at least supervision with two or more ADLs.  ADLs include bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, walking, transferring to the toilet, incontinence, eating, etc.  Medicaid Level 1 housekeeping which provides assistance to disabled individuals with chores such as shopping, laundry and meal preparation, will be eliminated.  People already receiving these services will be “grandfathered in”.  

In light of this new law, you may want to review how you wish to protect your assets with your attorney as soon as possible.