This is the first of several blogs to bring you up-to-date on important changes in elder law, special needs planning and estate planning.
Medicaid and elder care law update
If you need New York State Medicaid for home aides or nursing home care, you will need the help of an elder law attorney. Please note that a non-legal advocate is not qualified to give you the proper guidance and advice to navigate this increasingly complex process.
What is involved?
Selection of a managed long term care agency (MLTC), assessment of services, decisions about service coordination (called FIDA), and whether and how to correctly opt out. The language of Medicaid is difficult for you to understand, as the consumer. Only an elder law attorney is qualified to counsel you on key legal decisions that will impact your future and your family’s.
Spousal refusal is still legal in 2015, but Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget has once again proposed eliminating spousal refusal for home care/adult day care Medicaid. Spousal refusal occurs when one spouse requires Medicaid services but the other spouse will remain at home or in assisted living without Medicaid. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of spousal refusal requires an elder care attorney.
New York State Medicaid withdrew a directive for home care income budgeting, which is affecting the monthly income kept by a married Medicaid home care recipient. The policy could have forced seniors into nursing homes.
Medicaid’s decision to revert to the previous policy now means that a married couple with one spouse receiving home care can deposit the Medicaid recipient’s income exceeding $825 per month into a Pooled Community Trust. The couple may still be able to retain the non-Medicaid spouse’s income, invoking spousal refusal if necessary. But this level of legal analysis should only be done by an elder law attorney.
Contact my office to arrange a consultation with me, as an elder law attorney practicing on Long Island.
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