Faced with a projected $20 Billion deficit, the NYS budget passed this week, contains some cost savings measures that directly impact access to long term care.

Sadly, the new budget imposes a 2.5 year look-back period to community (home care) Medicaid applications. The good news is that the new law does not take effect until October 1 of this year. Seniors who need help at home with “custodial” care: feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, still have a window within which to apply for help. We can still create and fund an asset protection trust, then apply for Community Medicaid, while also protecting excess income, with no look-back period-at least for a few more months.

The confluence of an aging population, soaring health care costs and enormous projected COVID induced federal budget deficits, makes it extremely likely that the current 5 year nursing home look back period will be lengthened. There are various proposals in Congress which would increase the nursing home lookback to either 7 or 10 years. Those who create a trust now for their primary residence, would be grandfathered under the current 5 year lookback period.

Now more than ever, it is critically important that seniors stay up to date about all legally available options for protecting their assets. Without these protections, the danger is that people may go without needed care in order to protect their home and savings.

We are available to meet by phone, Skype or FaceTime, as well as create and execute documents remotely during the pandemic.