Elder Planning Isn't Just For The Elderly

Will nursing home care drain your life savings?

You have spent your life building financial security, but you have concerns about losing that nest egg if you or your spouse eventually needs long-term care in a nursing home setting. In that situation, New York will review your income and assets to determine eligibility for Medicaid.

Careful Medicaid planning can help you protect your livelihood from future health care expenses.

Asset limits

New York has established these 2021 asset limits for Medicaid nursing home and institutional coverage:

  • $15,900 if you are single
  • $23,400 if you and your spouse both need long-term care
  • $15,900 for the applicant and $130,308 for the non-applicant spouse when only one spouse needs long-term care

Certain assets do not count toward this limit, including up to $906,000 in your primary home, funeral arrangements paid in advance, up to $1,500 in burial funds, one motor vehicle, personal items, furniture, household items and eligible retirement funds.

Income limits

New York’s Medicaid monthly income limit for 2021 is $884 for single individuals and married individuals applying for Medicaid alone. Married couples applying together must earn less than $1,300 a month. Types of income include IRA and annuity payouts, gifts, income from Social Security or Social Security disability, pension, spousal support, and earnings from employment.

Many seniors decide to spend down assets exceeding the limit if they expect to eventually need long-term care. Strategies include transferring property from one spouse to the other, establishing a burial trust, creating an annuity, and spending down assets for financial needs such as home modifications or outstanding debt.

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