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The political landscape and Medicaid planning in 2016

Many New Yorkers who are nearing retirement age begin thinking about what they will do in the event they eventually need nursing home care. One aspect of planning for this major expense involves Medicaid planning. This includes a consideration of what they will need to do to make certain they are eligible for Medicaid coverage to pay for the expensive nursing home care instead of paying for it out of pocket.

Currently, 30 states participate in the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, while 20 do not. Under the expansion, states that agree to expand services to all those who make 133 percent of the federal poverty guidelines receive 100 percent reimbursement from the federal government through 2016 and 90 percent in succeeding years.

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court granted states the right to opt out of the expansion under Obamacare. The debate over both Medicaid expansion and Obamacare is a hot one, and coverage eligibility for both may change after the 2016 presidential election. Depending on the outcome of the election, it is possible that healthcare reforms that have been passed may be undone.

Medicaid care planning is important because it can help prevent a person's depletion of their estate simply to pay for nursing home care. It is thus an important part of estate planning and one that should be conducted several years in advance of the anticipated need. People may want to meet with their elder law attorney for help in planning to handle their estates in such a way to ensure their future Medicaid eligibility. People who have existing plans may also want to review them to make certain they reflect current law as well as potential future changes to it.

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