Medicaid COVID “Easements” Will Soon Be Ending

Long Island Elder Law and Estate Planning Lawyers

Effective July 1, 2023, recertifications will again be required and new applications will undergo a full review under pre-pandemic rules.
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Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and state governments have implemented a number of temporary laws and other provisions affecting Medicaid applicants and recipients. Many of these temporary measures were intended to make the application process easier as well as prevent Medicaid recipients from losing benefits. A number of those temporary measures will soon be ending making the Medicaid application process more difficult and restoring the recertification process for those already on Medicaid.

Before the pandemic, a recipient of home care or nursing home Medicaid benefits was required to recertify their eligibility, typically annually. This involved receiving a notice from their local social services district and providing updated financial information. This was largely suspended during the pandemic, but is now returning. Under guidance recently issued by the New York State Department of Health, Medicaid recipients with renewal dates of July 1, 2023 or later will receive recertification notices. Failure to properly respond to, and complete, the recertification can lead to a loss of Medicaid benefits. For many Medicaid recipients, this will be the first recertification they will have to complete.

Another important COVID-19 measure was allowing Medicaid applicants to “self-attest” to most eligibility requirements. It meant that an applicant could certify they were financially eligible without providing the voluminous documentation that is typically required. For example, a nursing home Medicaid applicant ordinarily would have to submit five years of financial records to be reviewed by the Department of Social Services. Starting July 1, 2023, self-attestation will no longer be available, and Medicaid applicants will need to submit a full set of financial and other required documents. This is a return to the audit-like process of Medicaid applications that existed before the pandemic. Medicaid applications will need to be prepared with this heightened level of scrutiny in mind.

The return to the pre-COVID-19 process for Medicaid applications and recertifications is a sign of a return to normalcy. If you or a loved one need to apply for Medicaid benefits or if a  recertification notice is received,  the experienced attorneys at Kurre Schneps are ready to help and provide assistance. Click here to arrange a meeting.

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