Eligibility Requirements for Medicaid

Is it ever too early to plan?

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Though Medicaid is funded by the federal government, it is administered at the state level, and each state has its unique set of regulation of this program. The income and asset level allowed is different from one state to another. Thus, it is best you find out where your balance sheet falls in respect to the threshold.

Medicaid is mainly designed for those who cannot afford the expensive cost of private care and those with certain disabilities. As said earlier, it is also meant for seniors, low-income families, etc.

If you are a senior, it is best you apply for Medicaid. However, before you do so, don’t hesitate to contact a Medicaid attorney in your state, as he should be able to explain, as you will need the help of a professional to better understand how it works.

For Singles;

For singles, you cannot have more than $2,000 worth of cash or other assets outside of your residence, vehicle, including other important items unless your state has a higher threshold.


If you are married and your spouse is able to live independently, you are allowed to keep a certain percentage (50%) of your joint assets up to a threshold of $128,640 as of January 2020. Your single or combined income cannot surpass %133 of the federal poverty level, although a lot of states have higher thresholds.  In almost all cases, you will need to prove through medical documents that you are disabled. But, there are some exceptions and they apply to women with breast cancer or cervical cancer or anyone diagnosed with tuberculosis.

In addition, and most importantly, you must be a U.S citizen or own a green care and prove your residency within the state to eligible for this benefit.

Other categories

  • Adults earning below $884 monthly and having an estate worth less than $15,900
  • Pregnant women
  • Single individuals
  • Children below 18
  • Someone having blindness or other disability
  • Parents and caretakers
  • New York residents
  • Legal aliens.
  • An individual wills huge medical bills

Types of Medicaid?

There are three kinds of Medicaid: Regular, Home care, and Nursing home Medicaid. You can qualify for the first two immediately the trust is created, but it will take another 5-year — called a look back period — to qualify for Nursing home Medicaid. If you try to obtain the nursing home Medicaid before the 5 years elapse, you’ll be served with a one month disqualification period for each $11,500 which you transfer into the trust.

What if you don’t qualify for Medicaid?

Does it mean that if you earn above $884 or have assets above $23,400, you would have to watch it get exhausted settling your long term care costs? Not so!  Through proper planning, you can make yourself eligible for Medicaid even though you have a substantial net worth.

How do you do it? By creating a Medicaid asset protection trust!

Bottom Line

A Medicaid asset protection trust is an estate document used to keep away assets so that one can become eligible for Medicaid. It’s a great strategy adopted by elder law attorneys in Queens to protect clients’ assets from being eaten up by their long term care costs.

Notably, whatever asset you fund into a revocable trust takes the name of the trust as its owner. By so doing, such assets leave your estate. They can no longer be counted against you for purposes of Medicaid eligibility.

However, you have to retitle the assets into the trust at least 5 years prior to your Medicaid application. That is because there is a 5 year look back period when you apply and if you have made any transfers into the trust (which is seen as gifting out) during that period, you may be disqualified for some time.

Get professional help with Medicaid Planning.

Our estate planning and elder law attorneys are ready to help you plan towards Medicaid in Queens. We can assist with the application or help you become eligible as the case may be. Call us

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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