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Medicaid Home Care Look-back Period – Delayed Again

As many know by now, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has been taking steps to implement a thirty (30) month look-back period for Medicaid Applications filed for Community-Based Long Term Care Services (i.e. home care).  The look-back period would apply to gifts made on or after October 1, 2020, but only for those applications submitted after the new rules are implemented. However, due to COVID-19, the implementation of these new rules has been delayed yet again. 

In order to implement these changes, the DOH needs to obtain permission from the federal agency: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). DOH has requested permission from CMS to implement these new rules for home care applications filed after January 1, 2022. Whether or not the implementation date will be delayed again will mostly depend on whether we are still in a federal Public Health Emergency. 

When the look-back period is implemented, assets that were transferred or gifted after October 1, 2020 will be subject to penalties – with one exception.  If transfers are made after October 1, 2020, but an application is filed before the look-back period is implemented (i.e., before January 1, 2022), no penalties will be incurred. This allows families with loved ones who currently need some help at home a window of time where they can transfer assets and apply for Medicaid without penalty.  

Medicaid applications for nursing home care will continue to be subject to a sixty (60) month look-back period. Having an adequate home care plan in place can help delay or even avoid a nursing home placement for many elders. Home care plans can also be developed for residents of independent or assisted living facilities, which also helps delay or avoid a nursing home placement.

Hollis Laidlaw & Simon is here to help each and every step of the way. If you or someone that you know may need some help at home, whether now or in the future, please contact the elder law team at Hollis Laidlaw & Simon to schedule a consultation.

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