Many people know that nursing home care and other similar assistance is expensive. Of course, it is common for older individuals to need this type of care due to medical issues. When it comes to determining the best options for paying for care, some parties may wonder whether Medicaid may be able to help them.

Qualifications for Medicaid can differ, and in New York, if an application is for a single individual, that person can keep up to $15,150 in assets as well as any assets that are exempt from consideration. If the applicant has a spouse who lives in the same home, the couple may retain up to $123,600 in assets. If the maximum amount is met, the couple could have up to $138,750 in assets that do not go into consideration for Medicaid eligibility.

In some cases, parties need to transfer funds or otherwise spend down in hopes of meeting the qualification levels. However, Medicaid agents conduct a “look back” that reviews such transfers in the five years prior to applying for benefits. If uncompensated transfers take place, individuals could be ineligible for benefits for a certain period of time.

The possibility of an ineligibility period should not act as a deterrent for New York residents who believe that they or their loved ones may need Medicaid assistance. In fact, there are a number of planning options that could help interested parties prepare for this possibility ahead of time. Individuals who want to consider their long-term care options sooner rather than later may find it helpful to consult with elder law attorneys.