Long Island elder law attorneys provide help to people who want to plan ahead to cover costs associated with long-term care. Long term care is extremely expensive, with even a semi-private room in a nursing home coming with costs in excess of $100,000 annually. Because many people cannot cover these costs out of pocket without spending all of their money very quickly, and because Medicare and most insurance doesn’t cover estate recovery, planning ahead to get nursing home care costs covered often involves finding ways to try to qualify for Medicaid.
Medicaid is a means-tested program, which means you are able to get covered only if you spend down assets that count as resources. You effectively must impoverish yourself to get Medicaid to cover you, unless you make plans to protect your assets. And, unfortunately, if you do qualify for Medicaid, the financial loss is not necessarily done yet. Your estate may be subject to something called Medicaid estate recovery after you pass away.
Medicaid estate recovery is a process by which the state of New York tries to recoup some of the money which the state spent through the Medicaid program. Estate recovery can have a very profound impact on the ability of a senior to leave behind a legacy. Many older New Yorkers who come to rely on Medicaid to pay for costly treatments, including nursing home care, will need to know what estate recovery is, how it works, and whether or not there are options to protect yourself from it.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC can provide assistance understanding how estate recovery works and can offer help with the process of trying to protect your assets if this is a risk for you. Contact Long Island elder law attorneys right away if you are concerned care may be necessary for you at some time in the future, since you will need to begin making plans to protect assets long before you actually need nursing home care if you want to protect the maximum value of wealth.
What is Medicaid Estate Recovery?
Medicaid estate recovery lets states which paid out funds for certain Medicaid recipients try to get back money spent by making a claim against the estate of the Medicaid beneficiary after that person has died.
In other words, if the state pays for you to go into a nursing home, the state is going to try to make a claim on your estate- like a creditor would – and is potentially going to be able to access property or money you would have preferred to leave for a loved one.
As the New York Department of Health explains, the state can try to recoup the funds paid out from the estate, with estate defined very broadly. Estate, for purposes of Medicaid estate recovery, includes real property and personal property. It includes assets passed via a will, assets passed under intestacy law, and all “other assets in which the decedent had any legal title or interest at the time of death.” This includes assets which were conveyed to an heir through joint tenancy or through other forms of shared ownership.
How Could Medicaid Estate Recovery Affect You?
Medicaid estate recovery could affect you or if you are among the groups who could be subject to estate recovery based on getting help through Medicaid. The state will attempt to recover money paid out to Medicaid beneficiaries who resided permanently in a nursing home or other medical institution and will try to recover money paid out to Medicaid beneficiaries for services provided after aged 55.
Getting Help from Long Island Elder Law Attorneys
Long Island elder law attorneys can help you to determine if there is a possibility your estate could be subject to estate recovery after you pass away as a result of your use of Medicaid services. If you are at risk of estate recovery, our legal team can assist you in exploring whether there are options available to protect the wealth you have worked so hard for so you can pass it on to the people you love.
To find out more about the Medicaid estate recovery process or about how to make a Medicaid plan to protect your wealth, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online to to get personalized advice with the estate planning process and to find out the ways in which our firm can help you to make a Medicaid plan that will keep your wealth safe during your life and after your death. Give us a call to get started.