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Elder Law in NYC
elder law

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Elder Law in New York
elder law

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Medicaid is a better alternative to the expensive private long-term care. With the average monthly cost of nursing home around $13,000 in NYC, many seniors will struggle to cater to their health needs. However, with Medicaid, you have a cost-effective health care program designed for eligible individuals.

While eligibility is very important as far as this government-funded program is concerned, you also need to understand how to apply, which is the next thing to do once your eligibility has been confirmed. So, how do you apply for Medicaid? Put differently, what is the Medicaid application process in NYC? Before we delve into that, let us digress a bit.

Medicaid Trust and Medicaid

Generally, if your asset is above a certain limit, you will not be eligible for Medicaid. However, there is a way around this but it involves setting up what is called a Medicaid asset protection trust. A Medicaid asset protect trust is a trust that helps you protect your asset from Medicaid. The assets in the trust won’t be counted as yours, thus ensuring that they are protected and you are eligible for Medicaid.

In addition, this trust helps you avoid spend down your resources, which could end up leaving your loved ones not being catered to properly. It would be better to setup this trust early so all your assets can be accepted, rather than waiting and spending down.

Who is Medicaid for?

As a rule of thumb, you can qualify for Medicaid any time provide you meet financial and/ or non-financial eligibility. Certain requirements differ per state, and you must be a resident of NYC to apply for its Medicaid program.

 Some factors that can determine your Medicaid eligibility are household size, disability, family size, etc. But, 37 states and DC widened coverage via the Affordable Care Act (ACA), meaning in those states, it is possible to qualify for Medicaid based on just income.

If you are deemed eligible for Medicaid, your coverage will begin either on the date you applied or first day of the month of application. In addition, Medicaid benefits can be applied retroactively for 3 months before the date of application, if you were to qualify during that period. Your Medicaid coverage ends at the end of the month in which you stop meeting the eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for Medicaid?

If you are eligible and wish to apply for Medicaid, I have outline how to do that. Ensure that you contact your local Medicaid office for state-specific rules.

Worthy to note is that, your Medicaid office may be regarded as the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Insurance, or some other name.

So, back to the question: how do you apply for Medicaid in NYC?

Contact your local Medicaid office to make inquiries regarding how you need to submit your application. Some states require you to apply in person, while others may allow you to do so via by mail, online, by telephone, etc.

Next, find out the necessary documents and forms of identification you may need to apply. Your Medicaid office may require you to tender the following:

  • Documents showing your proof of birth (such as a birth certificate)
  • Documents showing proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful residence (such as passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, green card, employment authorization card).
  • Document showing proof of resources (such as bank or stock statements, life insurance policies, properties)
  • Proof of residence (such as rent receipt, landlord statement, deed)
  • Medicare card including any other insurance cards you possess. You can as well provide a copy of the insurance policy.

Do you need an Elder law attorney?

If you need an elder law attorney for matters regarding your elderly loved one, don’t hesitate to call our office. Or if you are a senior and you need help with applying for Medicaid, you can also contact us for assistance. In addition, in the event that your assets and income are above the threshold, signaling your ineligibility for Medicaid, you can contact us if you wish to set up a Medicaid Asset protection Trust. However, you must have the Medicaid look back period in mind. This means that, after placing your assets in this trust, you are to wait for the next 5 years before applying for Medicaid to avoid any form of sanction.

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