When is a person over age 65 eligible to receive Medicaid?
Medicaid is a means-tested, needs-based program with limitations on income and
resources. Anyone who meets the income and resource limitations is eligible to receive
Medicaida and with proper planning many seniors can qualify for Medicaid.
What are the current asset and income levels that allow Medicaid eligibility in New York State
INCOME: Income is broadly interpreted, and includes earned and unearned income and most government benefits.The current monthly income limit for a family of one seeking community based Medicaid (i.e., care in the home) is $745. For a family of two, the limit is $1,087. The current monthly income limit for a spouse of an applicant seeking coverage for nursing home care is $2,739.
RESOURCES: The resource or asset limit for a family of one seeking community
based Medicaid (i.e., care in the home) is $13,800 plus $1,500 in a separate burial
account. For a family of two, it is $19,200.The spouse of an applicant seeking coverage for nursing home care is allowed between$74,820 and $109,560 in resources, plus $1,500 in a burial account.
Income and resource levels are subject to yearly adjustments.
What is "spending down"?
If the value of the applicant's resources are over the allowed amount, that individual
would be expected to use his or her assets to pay for his or her long-term care, or "spend down" for care until his or her resources were depleted to the resource exemption amount applicable to that person. In other words, the individual is spending down his or her assets to meet the eligibility resource requirement.
Can I give my home to my son/daughter so the nursing home won't take it?
The transfer of a personal residence will result in a period of ineligibility unless the
personal residence is transferred to one of the following individuals:
o A spouse of the individual;
o A child of the individual who is under 21 or certified blind or permanently and
o The sibling of an individual who has an equity interest in the home, and was
residing in the home for at least one year immediately before the date of
o An adult, non-disabled son or daughter who is residing in the home for at least
two years immediately before the date of institutionalization, and who was
providing care to the individual which permitted him or her to reside at home.
Can I sell my home to my son/daughter for less than its full value and still get Medicaid?
Any transfer for less than full value is subject to imposition of a period of ineligibility
calculated on the difference between what full market value of the asset was and the
amount which the individual received for the asset.
What is a Medicaid trust?
A Medicaid trust is a trust established by an individual usually for him/herself or for the
individual and spouse which contains terms that make the assets transferred to it
"unavailable" to pay for the individual and/or his spouse's home care or nursing home
What are the advantages of creating a Medicaid Trust
o Transferring assets to a Medicaid Trust is an effective strategy for protecting
o The trustee must act in the best interest of the trust beneficiaries and must invest
the trust assets wisely.
o Outright transfers may not be appropriate because there are no children or close
relatives, or a person may not completely trust an ultimate beneficiary or may
doubt his maturity, wisdom or ability to manage the assets.
o The use of a trust may reduce the time and expense associated with the
administration of a person's estate.
o The use of a trust may save income, gift and/or estate tax.