Elder Law & Medicaid

We counsel clients regarding options available for long-term care and advocate on behalf of clients to make sure they receive the maximum benefits legally allowed by government entitlement programs such as Medicaid.

The cost of long-term care is increasingly expensive.  Most Central New York nursing homes now charge approximately $300.00 per day.  At over $100,000.00 per year, few Central New Yorkers can afford the cost of such care.

Traditional health insurance and Medicare provide only limited coverage for the first 100 days of a long term care nursing home stay for individuals who are no longer able to independently perform the activities of daily living (dressing, eating, bathing, ambulating, toileting).   There are also insurance policies specifically designed to pay for long term care expenses, but these policies need to be purchased before there is a need for this type of care.

Medicaid is the only other available program that will pay for chronic long-term care in a skilled nursing home facility, but it will only pay for such care if an applicant meets its eligibility requirements.  Those requirements and the process of applying for Medicaid are among the least understood and most complicated procedures currently facing our senior and disabled populations.

We apply complicated Medicaid rules and procedures to protect our clients’ individual circumstances.  We recommend asset protection strategies for our clients.  We prepare trusts and deeds with retained life estates.  We help our clients receive the maximum legal benefits available from the Medicaid program and protect our clients’ assets from unnecessarily having to be “spent down” and exhausted by the cost of long term care.

Planning for the possibility of long term care expenses has become an important element in estate and health care planning. There are many options to consider, provided the problem is addressed well before there is a need for long term care. Each of the alternatives has its own practical, legal, and tax ramifications. It is impossible to say that one of the options is best for all individuals and since the law in this area changes regularly, it is important to discuss the options with a knowledgeable and reputable professional. The personal and financial circumstances of each individual and family must be considered before choosing a plan, and the best overall plan may be an integrated combination of several alternatives.

The process of applying for Medicaid can be very time and paper intensive.  We provide guidance through the process and can assist with all aspects of the application (including the obtainment of the 60 months of financial statements required by Medicaid) as desired by each individual client.

Additionally, there are legally valid options available to protect the assets of disabled individuals, especially individuals under the age of 65.  By having a special trust called a “Supplemental Needs Trust”, disabled individuals can usually maintain eligibility for Medicaid and SSI even when they receive a settlement from a personal injury action or an inheritance.

Most importantly, we represent our clients with the understanding that we must protect their dignity as well as their legal rights.

If you would like to meet with us to discuss your asset protection planning options, please either contact us directly, or download and print one of our Confidential Asset Protection Planning Worksheets, complete it as best you can and return it to us.  We will contact you to schedule an appointment after receiving your completed Worksheet.

If you would like to meet with us to discuss an anticipated Medicaid Application for a loved one, please either contact us directly, or download and print our Confidential Medicaid Application Worksheet, complete it as best you can and return it to us.  We will contact you to schedule an appointment after receiving your completed Worksheet.  You may also find it helpful to review our summary of the Documentation Required for a Medicaid Application to pay for nursing home care.

Please contact us or see our Elder Law FAQ if you would like additional information.