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Update:  The implementation date for the “look back” has been extended from July 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022.  This means that you have a few more months before the increased restrictions take effect.  If you feel you are likely to need Community Medicaid services soon, the time to take action is now.  The New York State Department of Health “unofficially” notified the NY State Bar Association that implementation of the “look back” for Community Medicaid services will likely be pushed back from April 1, 2021, to July 1, 2021.  In actuality, an extension is required.

The reason the extension is required, is that the Federal Public Health Emergency (“FPHE”) established by the Federal government has been extended to April 21, 2021.  Protections enacted under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, prohibit states from increasing the restrictions on their Medicaid programs until the quarter that follows the end of the PHE.  That means New York State will not be able to begin the implementation of the “look back,” and of the possible resulting transfer penalties, until at least July 1, 2021.

This change extends for three months, until July 1, 2021, the opportunity for New Yorkers to apply for Community Medicaid services without being subject to the “look back.” Chances are high that the extension will continue past July 1, but nothing is certain yet.

When the “look back” is implemented, disclosure of transfers of assets going back to October 1, 2020, will be required.   Per the most recent notice, applications filed on or after July 1, 2021, will be subject to the look back, and to a penalty period, if the applicant transferred assets on or after October 1, 2020.

If you are worried about long-term care costs, now is the time to start planning.  You may think you’re not eligible for Medicaid, but there are steps most New Yorkers can take to achieve eligibility, while also protecting their assets.  These steps can allow them to keep their money working for them and still qualify for Medicaid benefits, affording them access to high quality health care and long-term care.

Call us or email us today to make an appointment for a consultation.  There’s no time to waste – applying for Medicaid takes time no matter how simple you think your case might be, and the deadline will be here before you know it.

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