Watch Vincent J. Russo Legal Correspondent on Catholic Faith Network’s CFN Live! Vincent appeared on…
Watch Vincent J. Russo Legal Correspondent on Catholic Faith Network’s CFN Live!
Vincent appeared on CFN Live on March 1st to discuss “Medicaid Home Care: Protecting Your Income”
Colleen: Today, we will be addressing Part Two in our Series on “Trusts and Medicaid” with Vincent J. Russo “In the Legal Know”.
Colleen, great to be here, last week we addressed how critical it is for seniors to plan for Medicaid long term care services.
Trusts can play an important role in protecting one’s assets while accessing Medicaid.
Last week, I addressed how to protect one’s residence by utilizing the Medicaid Asset Protection Trust while accessing Medicaid home care or nursing home care services.
Today, we will address how to protect one’s income while on Medicaid home care.
Colleen: Vincent, can you first explain again why Medicaid home care is so vital?
Medicaid home care is so vital because Medicaid does not cover home care services.
Colleen: Now, I understand that once you are eligible for Medicaid home care, there is a Medicaid income budget rule, how does that work.
Once you meet the criteria for assistance with activities of daily living and the asset test, you are approved for Medicaid home care.
But there is one more step, Medicaid will take a look at your monthly income. If you have more than $954, then Medicaid (which is a payer of last resort) says you have to spend down that excess income before they will pay for the services.
For example, if the senior has $1,954 of monthly income and the income allowance is $954, the senior is allowed to keep $954 and the balance ($1,000) would have to spent down. Of course, we know that seniors cannot live on $954 per month.
Colleen: what if you are married, then how does it work?
Then, we have another set of rules that will allow the married couple up to $3,425 each month to live on. If the income is higher, then a Pooled Trust or spousal refusal (which we can discuss another day) can help protect the excess income.
Now for the solution:
The excess monthly income can go into a Pooled Income Trust in NY and then that income can be spent on the living expenses of the senior without having to be spent down each month.
This will allow the senior to be able to remain at home and receive the care he or she needs covered by Medicaid.
Colleen: How does it work?
Each month, the senior would contribute his or her excess income to the Pooled Trust (a separate subaccount would be set up), then the senior would submit bills for his or her living expenses and the Pooled Trust would pay the bills.
If there are any funds remaining in the account, those funds would pass to the Charity which created the Trust.
There are over 22 Pooled Trusts in New York and one of them is the Theresa Pooled Trust.
The Theresa Foundation was established by my family in memory of my daughter, Theresa and the Foundation supports music, dance, art, and recreation for children with special needs.
Colleen: This is an awfully complicated way to provide long-term care for our seniors. What should seniors do about this?
Planning in advance and getting the right advice is the key.
No one should lose their life savings because they have long-term care needs.
Colleen: Vincent, what comes next?
Next week, we will discuss the use of trusts for people under 65 who need Medicaid and SSI- Supplemental Security Income.
For more information on these topics and more, you can download for free our Planning Guides from our law firm website at vjrussolaw.com
Vincent can be found on past CFN Live episodes by clicking here.
- NYS Medicaid Home Care Program Changes
- Estate Planning Basics Part 1: Why do I need an Estate Plan?
- Estate Planning Basics Part 2: What is Included in an Estate Plan?
- Estate Planning Basics Part 3: When and Why do I need to update my Estate Plan?
- Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs Part 1: How do I provide for and protect my child?
- Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs Part 2: What Government Benefits are Available?
- Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs Part 3: What Steps Do I Need to Take for my Adult Child with Special Needs?
- Long Term Care Planning Part 1: “How Do I Pay for Long Term Care?”
- Long Term Care Planning Part 2: “How Can Medicaid Home Care Help Me?”
- Long Term Care Planning Part 3: “How to Qualify for Medicaid”
- What is a Power of Attorney?
- Important Legal Updates
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Russo Law Group’s Managing Partner, Vincent J. Russo, is a featured contributor on the Catholic Faith Network’s new show CFN Live. Vincent is the show’s Legal Correspondent. In his segment, entitled “In the Legal Know,” Vincent will keep you abreast of the latest legal developments including elder law, special needs and estate planning — all to help you make informed planning decisions to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets.