Because of the high cost of healthcare, Medicaid frequently becomes an absolute necessity for senior citizens and disabled New Yorkers. Applying for Medicaid at the proper time is crucial to protect yourself and your family financially. That’s particularly important in situations when long-term health decline or a sudden disability leads to an extremely expensive need for nursing home care.
How Retroactive Medicaid Benefits Work in New York
Unfortunately, Medicaid approval isn’t a particularly fast process, and the five-year lookback period often causes unforeseen hiccups that force people to wait longer before actually receiving benefits. That can be a serious problem in situations where you can’t delay the move, regardless of financial consequences, and must relocate to a nursing home that can provide around-the-clock care immediately.
The good news is that in New York, benefits can apply retroactively in certain circumstances for up to three months prior to filing for Medicaid coverage. That’s important because some nursing homes will allow admittance with the understanding you are applying for Medicaid and the facility will be reimbursed when you are approved and start receiving benefits. Other facilities will require a patient to move in as a normal monthly paying resident until benefits kick in.
The important thing to keep in mind is that retroactive benefits are only available if you would have qualified for Medicaid in that period of up three months before actually applying. You specifically need to meet eligibility parameters like:
- Asset maximums in your bank accounts
- A strong medical need for a nursing home, at-home care, or some other medical service
- Monthly income maximums
Meeting those strict requirements can be difficult, which is why you should work with an attorney to convert countable assets into a non-countable form or find out how to use a pooled income trust to maintain access to funds while still qualifying for benefits.
Protect Yourself by Talking With a Medicaid Planning Attorney
Planning in advance with an attorney before disaster strikes is the best course of action, but sometimes life throws a wrench in the works unexpectedly. If you find yourself needing to navigate the Medicaid application right now, or you want to help a disabled loved one with the process, get in touch with Alatsas Law Firm today.