Frequently Asked Questions
do I apply for Medicaid assistance?
I only worry about Medicaid assistance when it is needed?
I need an Attorney to file my Medicaid application?
I am approved for Medicaid, will I have to change my physician?
much help can I get at home from Medicaid?
I lose my home if my spouse or I need Medicaid?
- Canít I obtain all the information and help I need
from the Department of Social Services or the Human Resources
- If my spouse or myself needs a nursing home NOW, isnít
it too late to plan?
I have to do any planning for myself if it is my spouse who needs Medicaid?
are the rules for the gifting of assets?
long does the initial consultation take and how should I prepare for it?
long will it take to process my application?
- I have Life Insurance and now that my children are grown up,
do I really need it anymore?
- I bought Long Term Care Insurance so I donít have to plan, right?
- Does my current life insurance provide a ďLiving Benefits Rider or Accelerated Benefits Rider?
- What is New York State Partnership for Long Term Care Program?
- I am 62 years old and pay $3,200 a year for long term care insurance. Are there any tax deductions or tax credits?
- Is it true that interest rates are higher for CDís than for annuities?
- How much do you charge for your services?
- How can I schedule an appointment, and where are you located?
How do I apply for Medicaid
The process to apply for Medicaid assistance is a complicated one.
There are numerous requirements and forms that need to be completed
as part of the formal application process as well as face to face interviews
with the Department of Social Services.
Should I only
worry about Medicaid assistance when it is needed?
No. The time to plan for Medicaid assistance is well before it is needed,
generally several years. Without proper planning, an individual may be
ineligible for assistance or face delays when it is needed most.
Do I need an Attorney
to file my Medicaid application?
No, it is not necessary to retain an attorney to apply for Medicaid. In fact,
many attorneys are not familiar with the Social Services Law. Additionally,
those that do process Medicaid applications often charge high retainer fees
and will bill additionally for follow-up interviews, telephone time, etc.
If I am approved for
Medicaid, will I have to change my physician?
Medicare coverage will always remain the primary payer of your health
care costs. Additionally, if you have supplemental health insurance you
will retain it as well. Therefore, your physicians will not change.
How much help can I get
at home from Medicaid?
That depends upon what type of Medicaid you apply for. There are
different home care entitlement programs which offer different services
and have varying hours of care for which they will provide. The Department
of Social Services or the Human Resources Administration will make an
assessment to determine the care needs of the applicant. Generally
speaking, in most counties in the Metropolitan New York Area, the hours
of care approved are significant.
Will I lose my home if
my spouse or I need Medicaid?
Of course not! As long as either one of your remains in your home, there
can be no lien placed upon it. If you are a single elder, you are entitled to
remain in your home while receiving services and there may be ways to protect
your homestead or at least a significant portion even if you require care in a
skilled nursing facility.
I obtain all the information and help I need from the Department of
Social Services or the Human Resources Administration?
Quite frankly, NO. Although they are mandated to provide you with
information and assistance, they are so inundated with the overwhelming
number of applicants, these departments are unable to provide significant
assistance. Potential applicants often misinterpret the information which
may be provided. Additionally, they cannot provide assistance with Medicaid
planning for the protection of assets. Metro ElderCare Agency, LLC can
provide this information and the expertise and assistance you will need to apply.
my spouse or myself needs a nursing home NOW, isnít it too late to
Absolutely not. If a spouse needs a nursing home, you can still protect assets even if the need for care is immediate.
Do I have to do any planning if it is my spouse who needs Medicaid?
There are many planning options available to the spouse of the Medicaid
applicant. These include increased income allowances, protection of
transferred assets, and vehicles to protect life insurances, homesteads,
and other assets formerly held by both spouses.
What are the rules
for the gifting of assets?
The rules governing the gifting of assets are those most commonly
misunderstood. The amount and the timing of the gifting is paramount
when it comes to planning for a nursing home Medicaid application.
Additionally, people tend to confuse the Federal, State and local tax laws
with Medicaid statutes. This can create significant penalty periods and
How long does the
initial consultation take and how should I prepare for it?
Your initial meeting will probably last about one hour, although we will
meet with you until you are satisfied that all of your questions have been
answered. It is helpful to bring information about your current income and
financial holdings. Many clients do not have a wealth of paperwork at the
initial meeting. We will give you specific, detailed guidelines regarding
what documentation will be needed to process the application as the
How long will it take
to process my application?
The length of time it takes to process the application is in great part
determined by how quickly you provide us with the documents needed.
We can assist you with obtaining some of the necessary paperwork.
Depending upon your county of residence, once the application is
submitted there can be waiting periods of up to 6 months. By doing an
application with Metro ElderCare Agency, LLC, many applicants can obtain
help at home or nursing home care before their applications are approved.
I have life insurance and now that my children are grown, I really donít need it anymore, right?
Life insurance is available to help a spouse be able to raise the children if there is a tragedy and one spouse deceases. It is also there to be able to maintain a spouseís current life style should one spouse decease. Life insurance is also used as an estate planning technique to reduce estate taxes which can be as much as a 45% Federal estate tax or a 54% NY State estate tax (as of 2007) and always consult your tax professional).
I bought long term care insurance so I donít have to plan, right?
Many people are under this assumption but this is not necessarily true. Most people purchase long term care insurance to allow you the time to protect your assets, without planning or knowing in advance when you will need it. When you initiate your long term care policy, changes in your estate have to be made. Without long term care insurance, you can lose a significant part of your estate, if not all, unless you guess in advance when you are going to need care. With a 5 year look back on nursing home medicaid, you have to be a magician to know when this will be needed.
Does my current life insurance provide a ďLiving Benefits Rider or Accelerated Benefits RiderĒ?
With this rider, which is now available on most life insurance policies, you have the ability to access a portion of your death benefit while you are living for terminal illness (and chronic illness, depending on the state). There is no cost for this feature/rider (in New York State) and some plans provide up to $1,000,000.
What is New York State Partnership for Long Term Care Program?
A Partnership-approved long term care insurance policy (with New York State) allows you to apply for ďMedicaid Extended CoverageĒ after your benefits expire without having to transfer your assets. You can choose (purchase) ďTotal Asset ProtectionĒ plans and protect all of your assets. There is no limit to the assets you may keep and still receive Medicaid Extended Coverage.
I am 62 years old and pay $3,200 a year for long term care insurance. Are there any tax deductions or tax credits?
Yes. If you are a New York State resident, you qualify for a 20% New York State Income tax credit. You are also eligible for a significant federal tax deduction. You should speak with your tax advisor.
Is it true that interest rates are higher for CDís than for annuities?
No. In addition, with annuities you have the potential to earn higher cash accumulations due to tax-deferred compounded interest. This means you are not adding interest income to your annual income until you withdraw funds. It accumulates similarly to an IRA. In addition, an annuity is the only savings plan where you can receive a guaranteed income that you cannot outlive.
How much do you charge for your services?
There is a fee for the initial consultation after which you receive a detailed
report with our recommendations. The fee for processing your Medicaid
application is determined during the consultation. This is based upon the
complexity of your financial situation, how much assistance you feel you will
need obtaining documentation, and the type of Medicaid program you are
applying for. The different types of Medicaid programs have varying
requirements for documentation.
How can I schedule an appointment, and where are you located?
Metro ElderCare Agency, LLC is located at 4585 Merrick Road, Massapequa,
New York. You can call 516-797-0601 to schedule an appointment. You can find directions to the office on the website.