He said some states have a residency requirement making it so people have to live in that state for so long before becoming eligible to apply. New York does not.
“If you are here in our state and you apply while here and never end up moving here you can still be eligible. It is more of an intent element — If you ever intended to reside here you are eligible for the benefit. There is no durational time requirements,” Coutlee said. “New York is a very favorable jurisdiction. We have the highest resource allowance for a single person.”
One thing that Coutlee said is on the horizon is a shift to a managed Medicaid program.
“I think what they are trying to do is undo some of that discrepancy going on among the counties,” he said.
Assets generally fall into two categories: Countable and non-countable. To qualify for Medicaid benefits, a nursing home resident can have $14,250 in countable assets. The spouse of a nursing home resident can retain a minimum of $74,820 and a maximum of $113,640 of the couple’s joint countable assets. The spouse can keep up to $2,841 a month in income.
Certain assets such as personal possession and prepaid funeral plans are not counted in calculations for eligibility.
According to Coutlee, there is no “five-year look back period” when applying for Medicaid when receiving care at home. However, he said 100 percent of the care needs are not going to be covered under Medicaid.
“In New York state there was a push to encourage home care. The reason for that was because it was cheaper for them to pay for caregivers to come into someone’s home rather than pay the costs for nursing home care. It is an incentive for people to take advantage of home care.” Coutlee said.