Elder Law Update: Important Changes for 2023

Jan 04, 2023
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By: Dana Walsh Sivak, Esq.

Elder Law Update: Important Changes for 2023

The Elder Law team at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman LLP is grateful to our elder law clients whom we have had the opportunity to serve in 2022. Thank you for entrusting your important matters to us, and we look forward to working with you and your families in 2023.
As we prepare for 2023, we look forward to continuing to work with our elder law clients to assist them with all aspects of their estate planning, long-term care, and Medicaid planning needs.  We would like to share several important Elder Law Legal Updates with our clients and their families so that they are prepared for these changes to take effect on January 1, 2023.

Important Changes to Social Security Income and Government Benefits, Medicaid Resource and Income Allowances, and Regional Rates for 2023

Federal Government Benefit Updates

Social Security Benefits: 8.7% increase in benefit

Medicare Benefits
  • Hospital Deductible: $1,600
  • Hospital Co-Insurance: $400/day (applicable on days 61-90 of stay)
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Co-Insurance: $200/day (applicable on days 21-100 of SNF stay, if medically eligible)
  • Medicare Part B Premiums - $164.90 (reduced from $170.10 in 2022)
Federal Estate Tax Exemption: $12,920,000

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion (per beneficiary, per year): $17,000

Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefits
  • Single Veteran: $2,229/month
  • Married Veteran: $2,642/month
  • Surviving Spouse of Veteran: $1,567/month
Medicaid Resource & Income Allowance Figures for 2023

The New York State Department of Health has released its updated Resource and Income Allowance figures for the Medicaid Program, representing significant increases from 2022. Effective January 1, 2023, the following Resource and Income allowance levels apply:

Community-Based Medicaid (Home Care):
  • Applicant Resource Allowance:
    • Individual: $28,133 (increased from $16,800 in 2022)
    • Married Couple: $37,902 (increased from $24,600 in 2022)
  • Applicant Income Allowance:   $1,563/month (increased from $934 in 2022)
Institutional (Nursing Home) Medicaid:
  • Applicant Resource Allowance: $28,133 (increased from $16,800 in 2022)
  • Applicant Income Allowance:   $50/month
  • Community Spouse Resource Allowance: $148,620 (maximum) (increased from $137,400 in 2022)
  • Community Spouse Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance: $3,715.50 (increased from $3,435.00 in 2022)
These increases in the Medicaid resource and income allowances mean that applicants and recipients of Medicaid will be able to keep more of their assets and their monthly income, while still qualifying for Medicaid benefits. Individuals who utilize a Pooled Income Trust to divert their excess income each month to maintain their full Medicaid benefit amount will now be able to retain more of their income each month, without needing to send it to the Pooled Income Trust or otherwise spend down their excess income on their care.

If you are a Medicaid applicant or recipient who utilizes a Pooled Income Trust, we strongly encourage you to contact the Elder Law attorneys at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman LLP at (516) 599-0888, to discuss how you may have the monthly funding of your Pooled Income Trust account re-budgeted to account for this substantial increase in the amount of income that a Medicaid recipient is allowed to keep each month.

Community Medicaid Look Back Period Delayed

Due to the ongoing public health emergency, the implementation of the 2 ½ year look-back period for Community (Home Care) Medicaid applicants announced in 2020 has been delayed once again.  While an exact date has not yet been announced by the New York State Department of Health, the look-back period for Community (Home Care) Medicaid applicants will not be implemented until at least March 31, 2024.

What does this mean for our clients? The delay in the implementation of the 2 ½ year look-back period means that, for a limited period of time, Community (Home Care) Medicaid applicants will be able to transfer their assets without incurring a transfer-of-assets penalty. We strongly encourage all individuals who believe they, or a loved one, may benefit from home care services to contact the Elder Law attorneys at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman LLP at (516) 599-0888 as soon as possible so that we may review your options before the look-back period is implemented.

Updated New York State Regional Rates for Nursing Home Care

The New York State Department of Health has updated its 2023 regional rates representing its assessment of the average cost of nursing home care in different regions throughout the state. The Medicaid program utilizes these figures when determining penalty period calculations due to uncompensated transfers or gifts of assets occurring during the five-year look back period.

As of January 1, 2023, the following regional rates shall be effective:

New York City:   $14,142
(Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island & Bronx)

Long Island:   $14,136
(Nassau & Suffolk Counties)

Northern Metropolitan:   $13,906
(Westchester, Dutchess, Rockland, Ulster, Orange, Sullivan & Putnam Counties)

Rochester:   $13,421
(Chemung, Ontario, Steuben, Livingston, Schuyler, Wayne, Monroe, Seneca & Yates Counties)

Central:   $11,726
(Broome, Jefferson, Oswego, Cayuga, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Chenango, Madison, Tioga, Cortland, Oneida, Tompkins, Herkimer & Onondaga Counties)

Northeastern:   $12,744
(Albany, Fulton, Saratoga, Clinton, Greene, Schenectady, Columbia, Hamilton, Schoharie, Delaware, Montgomery, Warren, Essex, Otsego, Washington, Franklin & Rensselaer Counties)

Western:   $12,130
(Allegany, Erie, Orleans, Cattaraugus, Genesee, Wyoming, Chautauqua & Niagara Counties)
Why are these figures important?  When engaging in complex Medicaid planning, these figures will be utilized by your elder law attorney to strategies promissory note gift/loan calculations, estimate penalty periods, and counsel clients on options for their estate and long-term care planning.

The process of preparing a comprehensive long-term care plan is a complex process that requires the expert guidance of a skilled and experienced elder law attorney.  Please contact the Elder Law team at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman LLP at (516) 599-0888 to schedule a consultation for your estate and long-term care planning in 2023!

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

DISCLAIMER: This summary is not legal advice and does not create any attorney-client relationship.  This summary does not provide a definitive legal opinion for any factual situation. Before the firm can provide legal advice or opinion to any person or entity, the specific facts at issue must be reviewed by the firm.  Before an attorney-client relationship is formed, the firm must have a signed engagement letter with a client setting forth the Firm’s scope and terms of representation. The information contained herein is based upon the law at the time of publication.


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