Update: The implementation date for the "look back" has been extended from July 1, 2021…
If your parent is living with you, can he or she still qualify for Medicaid? The answer is – absolutely. Often an ill parent, or one that requires some care, moves in with an adult child. The child ends up paying many of the parent’s expenses, and it can be a drain on the child’s time, energy, and financial resources. Also, often one child pays all the expenses and the siblings pay little or nothing. Asking for money for groceries, gas money for doctors’ visits, and medical co-pays, can feel petty or embarrassing, but those bits and pieces add up.
In New York and some other states, children do not have a legal obligation to pay for a parent’s care. If your parent lives with you and needs care, there is a high likelihood that your parent could qualify for Medicaid, and have some of the services paid for. This would reduce the drain on your resources and alleviate some of the resentment that can occur when one sibling ends up doing most or all of the heavy lifting. If your parent is in your home, he or she would qualify for Community Medicaid or Medicaid Home Care, with no look-back period.
An Elder Law attorney can advise you on how you could get your parent to qualify for Medicaid, and what the benefits would be. Often it is compelling, not only because you can save your parent’s money for their future needs and their heirs and beneficiaries, but also because it can help protect your relationships with your siblings.