How to Qualify for Medicaid

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Irina Yadgarova, Esq. explains what are the assets and income requirements to qualify for a Medicaid together with how an Elder Attorney can help protect your assets while getting Medicaid.

How to Qualify for Medicaid

Sun, 5/15 7:21PM • 10:09


Irina Yadgarova, Michael Levitis

Michael Levitis 00:01

Hi, everybody, this is Michael Levitis from JurisQ.com with Irina Yadgarova, an estates and elder law attorney, Irina thank you for coming back to educate our viewers, our listeners. And we started off with introducing who you are about your firm, but what you do the importance of planning early for retirement for protecting your wealth. Now, let’s go on with some more basic questions. Okay. As we know, healthcare in America is very expensive, cost prohibitive? I would say. So, can you tell us what are the rules for qualifying for Medicaid in terms of assets, and income? And what are the factors are involved?

Irina Yadgarova 00:52

Right, and right, before we get into that, I just want to say you said cost prohibitive. So let’s just give like an idea, right? On average, for a very basic nursing home in the five boroughs in New York, right? It’s about 13,600 a month. And that’s for like a simple basic, we’re talking like, same nursing home with Medicaid beds, nothing fancy. So that’s on the on the median, right? Well, this Yeah, for the same nursing home Medicaid negotiates their own rates, but that’s a separate point. And for hospitals, I see these bills, so two nights stay easy $2,500, I can, you know, show you these bills that’s on the wall. And so this is why it’s so important to plan ahead, plan for Medicaid. So what are the rules, right for eligibility. And again, these rules are applying to those people who do not engage in Medicaid planning attorney, because our goal, right is to set up trusts to help you qualify despite these limits, and thresholds. So for anybody 65 and up or disabled, in New York, Medicaid looks at your assets, and your so these thresholds are actually changing in January in real time, 2022. I have the figures right here in front of me. So currently, for an individual in that category that I just mentioned, right, currently, until January, the resource limit and resource are your savings, checking pretty much anything that is liquid, there are certain exemptions that we’re not going to cover today, because it’s just going to take too much time. But for a single individual, it’s about 16,404. A couple, it’s about 20,000. Okay, it’s going to be 4600. This is going up in January, for single individual, again, disabled 65 and up to 28,134 is actually really big jumps that do not happen. So don’t count that. It’s a it’s part of the new state budget that was just settlement, Governor, legislature

Michael Levitis 03:01

and state specific, every state has their own rules.

Irina Yadgarova 03:06

What we do in New York, we cannot do in New Jersey, they don’t accept certain types of trusts, which we’ll get into later when we get into for couples, the asset income, the asset, I’m sorry, the asset limit is increasing to 37,900 feet. So bear in mind, these asset limits are absolutely not indicative of the individuals, we can help we help people with assets in the millions actually.

Michael Levitis 03:34

Yes, so let’s just clarify. So basically, if you have if you’re an individual, or let’s say a married couple, and you have more than $37,000 in assets, you do not qualify for Medicaid, because the right at any time to make it clear, black and white make it absolutely clear. So in today’s market, if you have an apartment, even a small Co Op apartment, you bet.

Irina Yadgarova 04:02

So glad you raised that. So good point. So one of the exemptions, sort of and I’ll explain why I say sort of because it’s seems like an exemption, people get excited about it. And Medicaid is very tricky about this. So a home a primary residence, whether it’s a co op or condo, real property where you reside, your primary residence with an equity limit of about $900,000 is exempt. Okay? And here’s the big but, okay, when you pass away, if you were receiving medicaid age 55 and 55-65. For the past 10 years, everything Medicaid spent on your care is going to come out of that estate of your house and your apartment.

Michael Levitis 04:45

Oh wow. Planning is so important because you may not you know, you may not think you have to protect your assets, not just for Medicaid, but for many any credit. I didn’t know that. Wait a second, so I just explained this, because that’s shocking. So if you own a home, and it’s worth even few hundred thousand in equity, and you get Medicaid, after you pass away from your inheritance from your state, the state is going to deduct what you were receiving in the in health care. So your kids, or whoever else, you leave your house to your, your kids, your cat, whatever, they will get much less.

Irina Yadgarova 05:31

Yes. And it’s managed a lot. Nobody knows about it, because they have no idea. Or when you get your coverage, they don’t tell you, Hey, by the way,

Michael Levitis 05:42

I really I know, we’re gonna do a separate video just on that. I’m blown away, I had no idea. But with your planning, you can avoid that.

Irina Yadgarova 05:54

Absolutely. That’s our primary goal to make sure that you’re protecting your hard earned, you know, a lot of I would say bulk of clients, right, or they worked so hard, they purchased a home. Many of them are immigrants, not even first generation American, and we want to make sure that their hard earned, you know, homes are protected. We didn’t even get to the income. That was the passive income. So for

an individual currently 65 are disabled, it’s 954. For a married couple, it is 1367. Really 1387. So $1,387 for a couple is going up again, a big jump in January.

Michael Levitis 06:35

That’s what that’s per month. What

Irina Yadgarova 06:37

is that? a month? Yes, monthly income limit from your all your retirement sources, meaning Social Security, retirement, Ira distributions, the required minimum distributions, pension 11 99k 403, B, whatever it is, any retirement source, but

Michael Levitis 06:53

if you make more as a couple more than $1,387 a month, correct, do not qualify for Medicaid

Irina Yadgarova 07:02

is defined enough or disabled. Correct. Or so this is going up? Let me give you the new January levels. Very big jump that happened with big jumps do not happen. Again. It’s budget resettlement. So huge, huge win for New Yorkers, for a single is going up to 1563 1063. And for couples going up to 2106. So yeah, well, I mean, your mortgage right or your rent, that’s like right there. So a lot of people who are not wealthy by any means have a good amount more and so that we help them qualify for Medicaid despite the higher retirement income, and there’s no ceiling on that.

Michael Levitis 07:43

Yeah, it’s not a lot at all. It’s, like 1000 hours a person really. And if you’re getting some kind of retirements, if you’re getting some kind of income from a rental apartment from an apartment that you own as a investment, you’re not getting Medicaid. That’s something that you can help with.

Irina Yadgarova 08:09

 Very common. Yeah.

Michael Levitis 08:10

And you do it and stand through a mechanism, which is completely legal and acceptable.

Irina Yadgarova 08:19

One 100%. Kosher, clearly, you know, I’m a licensed attorney, we submit everything to Medicaid. Our trusts are vetted by Medicaid, and they’re very important to work with an experienced attorney, because they’re even their systems. They’re what they would accept in a prior Medicaid trust is no longer acceptable. Well versed and work with Medicaid frequently.

Michael Levitis 08:40

So you do it through Medicaid trust, where you using this mechanism that is acceptable and legal and approved by Medicaid, you’re able to provide people this affordable, and even free health care. Let’s do a separate session just on what is a Medicaid trust. And we’ll come back with that in the separate q&a session, because that’s a whole interesting, very useful topic. I want to thank you so much, we

appreciate your time. This is very useful. This is actually very practical for everybody. So I really urge everybody to listen in. If you have any questions, you can contact Irina Yadgarova, the number we’re going to have at the bottom of the screen, post comments on the bottom of the post, you can reach Irina. I’m going to tag Irina, with your permission, I’m going to tag your Facebook account in this post you can contact through message to arena as well, or phone or like I said, you can like a video, you can post the comments and we will try to get in touch with you to answer it your questions. Okay, everybody, thank you so much. Again, thank you for your time, and we’ll see you next week. With more Q and A’s on Elder Law and Estate Planning and Medicaid trusts thank you so much for having me bye

Irina Yadgarova 10:07



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