Many older adults in New York count on Medicaid, not just Medicare, to cover their expenses as they grow older. After all, Medicare does not cover nursing home support, in-home skilled nursing services or extended rehabilitative care.
Adults who have planned carefully for retirement and who may have believed they were ready to cover any expenses may eventually learn that they need Medicaid because a nursing home is in their future. Just like you can save before you retire so you have money during your retirement, you can also plan ahead now to qualify for Medicaid if your health declines as you get older.
While there are some big changes in the works for Medicaid in New York, indefinite delays in the rollout of those changes make now a great time to plan.
New York will change the lookback period
When you apply for Medicaid benefits, the government wants to validate that you have neither the current income nor the personal assets to cover all of those expenses yourself. The possibility exists for some people to try to abuse the Medicaid system by making large gifts to family members or big transfers right before they apply.
The Medicaid lookback period helps address this particular concern. It authorizes those reviewing Medicaid applications to go back over many months of someone’s financial records. New York state intends to change how the lookback period works for Medicaid applicants, but federal laws about medical emergencies prevent those changes from taking place right now.
It remains to be seen how soon New York will be able to implement and finalize these changes. Planning before the state makes those final changes to the lookback period could help you avoid a penalty if you have to apply in the next few years.
Proper Medicaid planning gives you peace of mind as you age
Not knowing if you will have the resources to provide for yourself as you grow older can frighten even the most independent person. Recognizing that even those with well-funded retirement may eventually require Medicaid can inspire you to plan ahead and protect yourself in case you do need to move into a nursing home or require rehabilitative care after a hip replacement or a stroke.
Learning more about Medicaid planning can help you protect yourself and your assets as you grow older.