Nursing home rates are increasing annually across New York State. In fact, the average monthly nursing home rate in Erie County is $8,971.00, and some monthly nursing home rates in the region are over $11,000! These numbers concern many people because potential nursing home costs can make a big dent in a person’s savings. Medicaid will pay for an individual’s nursing home costs if certain financial requirements are met. Because of complex Medicaid regulations, there are many misconceptions about Medicaid’s eligibility requirements and what is covered by Medicaid. Proper planning can preserve thousands of dollars for an individual and his or her heirs.
In 2015, a single Medicaid applicant must have under $14,800 in non-exempt assets to be eligible for Medicaid and an individual is only allowed income of $50 per month. If a Medicaid applicant has a spouse that lives at home, then that spouse would be allowed between $74,820 and $119,220 in non-exempt assets, depending on the amount of the assets when the Medicaid applicant is institutionalized.
Having a good Medicaid plan in place can preserve a large percentage of an individual’s resources. There is a five year look back period for transfers, therefore for many individuals, it is best to start planning when he or she is healthy and before entering a nursing home.
Many families have adult children living out of state that are named the Power of Attorney for their parents that live in the Western New York area. We have the ability to work with these individuals out of state to determine which steps should be taken to help preserve an individual’s assets.