When you or a loved one begins to experience health problems and can no longer live independently, you’ll have to make a decision about nursing home care. One of the biggest concerns people in New York have is whether they will have to liquidate all their assets to qualify for care.
Types of nursing home care that you need
You can qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid in New York. Medicare is insurance that pays for some medical care costs for people aged 65 years or older and those with certain disabilities. However, you can only use it for 100 days, after which you will be forced to make daily contributions or use your supplemental insurance policy.
On the other hand, Medicaid is a needs-based program that covers long-term care costs for low-income individuals of any age. In most cases, it is Medicaid that will be responsible for paying for nursing home care.
Eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid
To qualify for Medicare, you must be disabled, have End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or be at least 65 years and eligible for Social Security. Qualifying for Social Security means that you must be a U.S. citizen with at least 40 work credits.
To be eligible for Medicaid, you must be a low-income individual. In New York, your income should be lower than 138% of the federal poverty level, which varies depending on the number of individuals in your home.
Do you need to liquidate your assets?
You don’t have to liquidate your assets to qualify, but you can restructure them. You can create a Qualified Income Trust or Pooled Income Trust where a trustee controls your assets. Additionally, in New York, you can transfer your assets to your spouse to qualify.
If you or a loved one is facing the need for nursing home care, it is important to understand Medicaid’s role in covering care costs. While it is true that Medicaid has strict financial eligibility requirements, there are ways to work around these requirements if you are willing to spend down your assets.