About Us - Medicaid Law Center
The Medicaid Law Center is a group of attorneys, financial planners, accountants, paralegals and social workers that focus on assisting: low-income children, the elderly and the disabled who have chronic medical problems and are in need of assistance with their long-term medical care plans.
At the Medicaid Law Center, we are a resource center that supplies low-income children and their care givers, the elderly and the disabled educational materials, seminars and other resources supporting applicants looking to understand the Medicaid qualification criteria.
Our Team can make application for our clients for either Community Medicaid Programs or Institutional Medicaid Programs (also known as Nursing Home or Skilled Care Facility Medicaid Programs).
At the Medicaid Law Center, we work in conjunction with social workers to secure an independent medical evaluation of our clients, where necessary, to demonstrate 'medical need' in order to satisfy the criteria for qualification purposes for Medicaid programs.
At the Medicaid Law Center, we help our clients work through and understand the financial criteria for both Community Medicaid programs and Institutional Medicaid programs, which establishes different for single and married people.
We have the ability to advise our clients on whether the transfers made during the look back period qualify as exempt or whether those transfers contribute to a 'penalty period.' We have the ability to assist our clients and their loved ones who may be 'in crisis' navigate the complex rules of Medicaid and successfully work towards a comprehensive solution that makes both economic sense and supports the family and its values.
Since Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to low-income children, the elderly and people with disabilities, we make certain our clients are apprised of the rules and regulations that affect them. We thoroughly explain how the frameworks of the Medicaid programs operate. We outline the main rules and highlight the differences that each county within our practice area, which are: Bronx, Dutchess, Nassau, Putnam, Suffolk and Westchester Counties within New York operate and what to expect when making application.
Our clients learn the differences between the 'countable' and 'non-countable assets'. What exemptions may exist and how they will apply to them and how to properly preserve assets under Medicaid's rules. Typically, all assets are counted for Medicaid qualification purposes unless they are part of the 'non-countable' assets list which includes: personal possessions such as clothing, furniture and jewelry; one motor vehicle; the applicant's principal residence, together with adjoining real estate; prepaid irrevocable funeral contracts and burial plot; a small amount of life insurance (face amount of $1,500); certain income producing-property and assets that are considered 'inaccessible' resources.
With regard to a person's home, it does not have to be sold in order to qualify for Medicaid as long as the nursing home resident has the 'intent to return home.' There is a twist on the applicant's 'intent to return home' assertion, however, because it is arguable that any person who has been in a nursing home for more than 30 consecutive days, may be deemed 'unable' to return home. Also, Medicaid can place a lien on the property, which is payable by the applicant's estate unless other appropriate measures are taken. When the applicant's spouse or other dependent relative still resides there, they may do so in spite of the Medicaid lien which shall be payable upon their moving out or upon their death.
The 'Transfer Penalty' is a major problem for many Medicaid applicants. Whenever a transfer occurs in the look back period, it is scrutinized for 'uncompensated transfers,' and transfers for less than fair value. There is no limit on the number of months a person can be ineligible. This means that persons who apply for Medicaid must be careful not to apply for Medicaid before the look back period passes if there have been uncompensated transfers.
Also, the 'penalty period' does not begin to run upon transfer of the uncompensated transfer, but rather, when the person is 'otherwise eligible' for Medicaid. At the Medicaid Law Center, we do all the calculations for our clients and explain their options clearly.
In New York in 2015, the criteria for eligibility for Institutional Medicaid for the applicant is as follows: $50.00 per month in an income, and $14,850 in liquid or financial assets, however the applicant may keep the items on the 'non-countable assets' list in addition to the $14,850 in liquid asset test. By statute, a non-applicant spouse can have financial (liquid) resources of between $74,850 and $119,220 in available (liquid) resources. To this criteria, we employ 'Spousal Refusal' and Spousal Impoverishment Rules to make available the maximum income and asset resources for the Community Spouse, and to help ensure they will not become a public charge in their lifetime.
Our free seminars and resource materials are available to all who seek information about Medicaid qualification. We are available for speaking engagements.
Please contact the Medicaid Law Center if you may be in need of any of our services.