Elderly Patient in a Long Term Care FacilityAs your parents age, they may need additional support to live comfortably and safely. It’s possible they may need to reside in a care facility, such as an assisted living facility or nursing home, in the state where they live. But after time, you may find that the best facility for your parent’s special medical needs is closer to where you live or in New York.

If your parent is on Medicaid, and you move them from one state to New York, it’s important to know that Medicaid benefits do not transfer from state to state. However, your parent can still receive Medicaid benefits but will have to reapply for them. If you plan to move your parent from another state to an assisted living facility in New York, it’s important to hire a skilled New York Medicaid planning attorney to help you through the critical steps to make this a seamless process.

Understanding Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal assistance program for those who are not financially able to pay for their long-term health care costs. It is considered a “needs-based” program, so there are very strict financial eligibility requirements to obtain Medicaid assistance.

Medicaid is not the same as Medicare. While the federal government funds Medicaid, the requirements for these benefits are controlled by each state. When the Affordable Care Act was introduced in 2010, Medicaid rules and financial requirements were set by the state.

Medicaid and Moving Your Parent From One State to a Care Facility in New York

Moving to another state can be challenging if Medicaid pays for your loved one’s care in an assisted living facility. They can’t be eligible for Medicaid in two states at the same time, and there is no automatic transfer of Medicaid benefits when a resident moves to a new state. Given these two complications, there are important steps you need to take to ensure your parent maintains coverage.

Steps for an Out-of-State Move to an Assisted Living Facility in New York

  1. Your parent must establish residency in New York. You’ll need to find an assisted living or nursing home facility with available Medicaid beds, and make sure your loved one qualifies under the state’s program requirements.
  2. You must dis-enroll your parent from Medicaid coverage in the state they’re leaving before you can apply in another state. This cancellation of coverage will occur at the end of whatever month you dis-enroll.
  3. Once your parent has relocated and becomes a New York resident, they will need to reapply for Medicaid benefits. The state is not allowed to deny coverage or impose waiting periods once your parent has established residency. However, before you can reapply, you must dis-enroll them from Medicaid in the state they’re leaving.
  4. After your parent moves to the new care facility in New York, they can apply for Medicaid. The process can take 90 days before your loved one is approved; however, because Medicaid benefits are retroactive, any expenses during the interim should be covered.

The admissions team at your parent’s new care facility can probably help you when reapplying for Medicaid; however, the most important thing you can do during the move is work with a knowledgeable Medicaid estate planning attorney. They can help ensure that applications and forms are filled out properly and take you through the complicated process of procuring Medicaid benefits.

Additionally, an attorney can help ensure that your parent meets Medicaid’s level of care requirements and financial eligibility requirements in New York. The state you’re leaving may have lower requirements, and that may impact your parent’s eligibility in New York.