Whether in advance of clients needing long term care, or when they are in crisis, we advise on the programmatic and financial rules for choosing between, obtaining and financing long term care.
The attorneys in our group regularly counsel clients on:
- The differing levels of long term care and how Medicare and Medicaid may help pay for them.
- The use of long term care insurance as a component of planning long term care financing.
- How family assets may be preserved for spouses and other family members and assist them to do so through the use of trusts, gifting and other planning techniques.
We assist with Medicaid applications, and represent our clients in administrative hearings and court appeals if benefits are wrongfully denied, or if claims are made for recoveries by Medicaid or nursing homes. For younger individuals with special needs, we can help them or their families establish supplemental needs trusts so savings or inheritances will be available for those needs without disqualifying them from public benefits.
ELDER LAW DOCUMENTS
ELDER LAW UPDATES
Summer 2023 Elder Law Update
Greetings to all , especially the family caregivers who are supporting their parents, spouses and loved ones though this very difficult time in our community. Safe staffing is the number one issue for all clients that we counsel regarding long term care planning. Hospitals and nursing homes are vastly understaffed, which has unfortunately led to inadequate care in some (but not all) area facilities. The staffing shortage for home health aides is also readily apparent in our community. Whether paying for home care privately, with long term care insurance, or through the Medicaid program, finding good quality aides to care for your loved one is the number one issue facing our clients.
We are here to help. Qualifying for Medicaid benefits is often the ticket to obtaining home care in the community, and can also facilitate admission to a nursing home. Our attorneys and paralegals are skilled at navigating through the maze of Medicaid laws and regulations to help preserve assets for our clients, and qualify them for benefits needed to help pay for their long term care. We also have access to a network of professionals in the field (primarily geriatric care managers) who help facilitate the process of finding aides to care for loved ones at home.
The raising of the asset limit for Medicaid in New York to over $30,000 has led to increased opportunities to preserve assets and still qualify for Medicaid benefits. With nursing home costs in this area averaging a staggering $18,000 per month, preserving assets if possible is often the number one concern for many of our clients. For married nursing home applicants, preserving assets for the spouse in the community to help maintain her/his health is imperative. For those applicants who are no longer or never were married, our team of legal professionals can offer planning opportunities that would serve to pass on wealth to their loved ones, in accordance with their estate plan.
We are hoping, of course, that the proposed thirty (30) month look back for transfers of assets by individuals seeking home care Medicaid will never be implemented. This would have a devastating impact on the middle class, particularly clients whose children have provided care for them at home, and in turn have thankfully deeded their home to their children, or have paid them for such care. Both Rick Marchese and Kelly Gusmano are active members of the New York State Bar Elder law and Special needs Section, and they are fighting along with other Section members to have this law repealed. Stay tuned for further results!