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. Additionally, it may be difficult to understand the limit on your assets in order to still qualify for Medicaid in New York. The attorney is quite familiar with your state’s rules when it comes to long-term care planning and receiving government benefits when it comes to ensuring that you qualify for Medicaid. 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.

What are assets you can have and still qualify for Medicaid in NY?

Is it possible to have assets and qualify for Medicaid?

Seniors often believe that they are not allowed to have any assets if they hope to qualify for Medicaid. However, this is quite a common misconception because there is a grand variety of assets seniors can own and still be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Many are curious to know if they can own a car, or a home, or a life insurance policy while still being eligible for Medicaid. All of these inquiries will be answered below in the 2021 Medicaid Asset Limits section. The important note to keep in mind is that all Medicaid applicants may keep up to $2,000 in countable assets while still qualifying and remaining eligible for coverage. All assets below this sum are considered non-countable assets in the eyes of the government, thus having such assets would not have a negative impact on your potential medicaid eligibility. However, any quantity of money that goes over this set limit of $2,000 becomes known as countable assets, which would have an impact on your eligibility and make it difficult for you to qualify for Medicaid in New York. 

2021 Medicaid Asset Limits:

Countable Liquid Assets- as mentioned previously, Medicaid applicants who have over $2,000 in assets will no longer be able to qualify for medicaid coverage in New York according to the state’s rules. 

  • A single applicant who is 65 years old or over may have up to a maximum of $2,000 in cash, bonds, stocks, certificates of deposits, and other assets in order to still qualify. 
  • A single applicant in the state of New York is allowed to retain $15,750 in liquid assets. 
  • The asset limits for married couples varies because it depends on state guidelines and whether only one spouse or both spouses are applying to qualify for Medicaid coverage. 

An Elder Care Attorney can assist you in understanding where you stand in terms of qualifying for Medicaid and what actions you may participate in to increase your chances of qualifying for coverage.  

Primary Residence Value- there is a way to ensure that the primary residence is exempt from consideration in regards to Medicaid qualifications, as long as it abides by the specified requirements. 

  • Most importantly, the home must be in the same state that the applicant is applying for Medicaid in. 
  • The equity value in the home, otherwise known as the fair market value minus debts if owned singly must have a value equivalent to $595,000 or less in order to still qualify for Medicaid. 
  • The applicant must continue to reside in their residence or have a strong intent to return home in the case that they are currently living in a nursing home due to their physical health conditions. An important note to consider is that if an individual must inhabit a nursing home, the home may still be exempt if the individual’s spouse or children are still living in it at this point in time. 

Funeral and Burial Funds- Medicaid will consider the value of any non-refundable, pre-paid funeral plan as exempt because you cannot obtain that money back and therefore it does not impact your potential qualification for coverage. This also pertains to irrevocable funeral trusts, however these funds are typically limited to a maximum of $15,000 or less per spouse.

Car- one car will be considered as a non-countable asset regardless of its brand, or price. This automobile, however, must be used for transportation of the applicant or any other members of the household in order for the car to be exempt from your assets when qualifying for Medicaid. 

Life Insurance Policies- Medicaid will ignore all term life insurance policies. This is because only the cash value of a life insurance policy owned by the applicant will be counted. However, in order to remain exempt and qualify for Medicaid coverage, the combined cash value of any insurance policy cannot go over the limit of $1,500. 

Property for Self Support- only the Medicaid applicant’s equity interest in any property that is considered essential to their self-support will be taken into account regarding qualifying for coverage. 

  • Any real estate properties that generate income, such as farms, rental properties, real estate investments, etc will be considered. 
  • A maximum of $6,000 of an applicant’s equity interest in the property may be exempt from their allowable assets. However, this only applies if the property is able to produce a net annual income of at least six percent of the equity value annually. 
  • All values that exceed the $6,00 maximum will be taken into account as assets, which could harm your ability to qualify for Medicaid coverage. 

An medicaid planning attorney can help you better understand these asset limits and can assist you in potentially qualifying for Medicaid even if you exceed some of these limits. Note that a senior may still be eligible for Medicaid even if their assets exceed the general limits stated above. An esteemed attorney is well aware of the rules and guidelines regarding qualifying for Medicaid coverage, thus you will attain all of the aid and guidance you need in answering all of your inquiries. 

For further Elder Care inquiries and information please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at 718-333-2394 to qualify for Medicaid coverage given the 2021 Asset limitations.