The process of aging is a difficult concept, especially for individuals who lack knowledge of their medical coverage system and management of their financial assets. Prior to reaching old age, individuals should consider applying for Medicaid and creating an Elder Care Plan. Applying for Medicaid is quite a complex process, as the questions being asked within the application have great depth and implications for your future. The foundation system responsible for asking the questions that define your eligibility for Medicaid purposely selects specific diction and word choice which may make it challenging for elderly individuals to effectively answer the questions. Considering that these questions are the main defining factor when it comes to obtaining Medicaid coverage, family members should seek guidance from an experienced Elder Law Attorney to guide them through this imperative process. The attorney is quite familiar with your state’s rules when it comes to long-term care planning and receiving government benefits.The Elder Care Attorney will use her experience in the field to devise the most effective plan in assisting the family by selecting strategies that align with the family’s personal and financial circumstances.Additionally, the esteemed attorney will ensure that you maintain your Medicaid Eligibility even when your spouse dies in NYC.

Maintaining Medicaid Eligibility when your spouse dies in NYC?

What if the nursing home spouse outlives the community spouse?

In the case that the spouse enrolled in nursing home care passes away prior to the community spouse, then the living spouse is subject to an exception of 50% of the total countable assets of both of the spouses.The total countable assets may only reach the value of $119,220 in order to remain qualified for Medicaid coverage. However, this exemption does not work if the roles are reversed. This means that if the community spouse passes away prior to the spouse in the nursing home, then the nursing home spouse may not use the 50% exemption.This is due to the fact that the individual inhabiting the nursing home will no longer receive Medicaid coverage and therefore will not obtain the care they require. The maximum quantity of assets an individual on Medicaid may hold is $2,000, thus any value above this would result in a Medicaid penalty. In most cases the surviving spouse will receive the remaining assets based upon the content of the will. To avoid dealing with this complex situation you should hire an Elder Care Attorney to begin Medicaid Planning for married couples.

Medicaid Planning for Married Couples

Upon receiving inheritance the surviving spouse should convert this money into a non-countable form. These forms may include Medicaid-qualified annuity, a new car, new household furniture, etc. An Elder Care Attorney will provide guidance on which non-countable form would be most effective for your specific family circumstances in order to avoid incurring a Medicaid penalty. This penalty will result in a disqualification period that may leave you without coverage, which is certainly not worth the risk. Prior to the death of the community spouse, the couple should change their accounts in order to prevent them from being in joint names. Without taking this step, there may be numerous financial consequences that will jeopardize your Medicaid coverage. In the case that the house or the home was under joint names and the community spouse passes away, then the spouse receiving nursing home care will exceed the $2,000 maximum assets allowed. Therefore, the house should be solely in the name of the community spouse instead of under joint names. 

The passing of a Medicaid recipient’s spouse could harm the current Medicaid recipient by making him ineligible for coverage. If the community spouse dies and leaves the estate to the nursing home Medicaid recipient, then the individual will have too many assets to qualify for coverage. Even in the case that the individual chooses not to claim his share of the estate, Medicaid will still assess the situation, which may result in a Medicaid penalty. In this case, a trust could be an effective option to protect the spouse’s medical coverage. The surviving spouse is typically titled to either half or a third of the assets titled under the name of the deceased spouse. The money must be removed and properly disposed of to ensure that the Medicaid recipient continues to be eligible for coverage. 

For further Medicaid eligibility information please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at 718-333-2395 to effectively maintain Medicaid Eligibility when your spouse passes away.