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New York ELA Member Defends Medicaid Eligibility Rules

  • March 30th, 2004

New York ElderLawAnswers member Howard Krooks is featured in an article on Medicaid planning published in several Gannett newspapers in the state.

Medicaid pays the bills for 75 percent of New York's 110,000 nursing home residents, which translates into $7.4 billion a year. The article explains in general terms how people can legally transfer assets and later meet the definition of poverty that allows them to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care. It then presents contrasting opinions on the propriety of taking advantage of these "loopholes."

Attorney Krooks, who is chairman-elect of the Elder Law section of the New York State Bar Association, cites a 1993 study done by the General Accounting Office that estimated only one in 10 nursing home residents transferred assets to qualify for Medicaid. The state Bar Association opposes proposals to tighten the Medicaid eligibility rules.

Krooks also defends the rule that allows spouses to keep their assets while Medicaid pays for the care of an ailing partner.

"It prevents the healthy spouse from being pauperized," says Krooks, who has offices in White Plains and New York City. "If they had to spend all of their assets (on the ailing spouse), then most likely they would become a public charge."

Krooks points out that most people trying to shelter some of their assets are of modest means. "This really is a middle-class issue," he says. "Most of my clients have $200,000, $300,000 in assets.'

To read the full article, go to: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/news/0329AK3O23C_news.shtml

To visit the ElderLawAnswers home page of Howard Krooks's firm, Littman Krooks LLP, click here.

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Last Modified: 03/30/2004

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