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Protect Your Assets From Medicaid : What Seniors Need To Know


It seems that, as people age, they try not to think about long-term care in a nursing home or about the fact that nursing home care can be extremely expensive.  Given the high costs of nursing home care, there are a lot of seniors in Putnam County and Westchester County who end up relying on Medicaid to pay for a substantial portion of their nursing home costs.  Yet, Medicaid will only provide payments for nursing home care if you do not have sufficient income and assets to pay for that care yourself.  If your assets and income exceed the Medicaid eligibility limits, you will be required to “spend down” your own assets before you are eligible for Medicaid benefits.  To be clear, you might know of Medicaid as a healthcare system for low-income individuals.  However, it also pays for the long-term care of many seniors who are on fixed incomes after retirement and who do not have sufficient assets to cover the cost of their own care.

Our Putnam County asset protection lawyers know that, after you have spent your lifetime working to save assets and funds for retirement, it is not ideal to have to spend down your savings. You may have other options available, and we are here to help. The following are ways you can protect your assets in New York.

Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance – Early

If you are not in immediate need of long-term care in a nursing home, you may be able to plan ahead by purchasing long-term care insurance.  Such insurance can cover the costs of your nursing home care and allow you to avoid a need for Medicaid altogether. However, you should know that all long-term care insurance is not the same. There are many different types of plans with various types of coverages, and it is critical to work with professionals who can help you to select a plan which is most likely to meet your needs and to protect your assets.

Establish a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust

Under New York law, you should know that a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT) is very likely option for you. These types of trusts allow adults of almost any age to transfer non-retirement plan assets to protect them from Medicaid.  A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust is an irrevocable trust, which simply means you will not be able to transfer assets out of this trust if you change your mind or end up not needing long-term care in a nursing home. However, if you do transfer your assets to this type of trust, Medicaid will not be able to a) count those assets toward your eligibility after the look-back period or b) require you to spend them down.  As a result, your beneficiaries and heirs will be allowed to receive those assets.

Contact Our Pleasantville and Mahopac Asset Protection Lawyers

If you need assistance protecting assets from Medicaid, our Pleasantville and Mahopac asset protection attorneys can assist you. Contact Meyer & Spencer, PC today for more information.



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