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How to use funeral planning to become eligible for Medicaid (updated fact sheet - 2015)

Views: 19794
Posted: 23 Apr, 2009
by David Silva (New York Legal Assistance Group)
Updated: 16 Jun, 2015
by Valerie Bogart (New York Legal Assistance Group)

Download Fact Sheet on Pre-Paid Funeral Planning as Method to Qualify for Medicaid in New York State

BACKGROUND:  One common reason why people are ineligible for Medicaid or SSI is if their assets are over the resource limit.  Rather than give money away to make yourself eligible, which can cause a transfer penalty, it is better to find ways either to spend the money or convert it into an exempt form.  One way to do this is through pre-paid funeral arrangements.

For both Medicaid and SSI, certain types of funeral arrangements - including burial funds, pre-paid funeral agreements, life insurance, and burial plots - are exempt from consideration as assets.  In this way, an applicant can reduce his or her countable assets while also ensuring that their wishes about their funeral are respected.

This Fact Sheet was revised in 2015 to incorporate 2011 changes to New York law governing pre-paid funeral agreements.  This memo applies only to New York Medicaid for people age 65+, blind, or disabled.  Most other New Yorkers (under 65 who do not have Medicare or SSI) do not have any limit on their assets under new "MAGI" eligibility rules under the Affordable Care Act.


This site provides general information only. This is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer. In addition, your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.  To contact a lawyer, visit http://lawhelp.org/ny. We make every effort to keep these materials and links up-to-date and in accordance with New York City, New York state and federal law. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Attached files
file Funeral Agreement Fact Sheet.2 (6-16-2015).pdf (582 kb)

Also read
document Income and Resource Limits for New York State Public Health Insurance Programs
document When Documentation of Resources and Income is Required for Medicaid Applications & Renewals - and When is "Attestation" Enough?
document Transfer of Asset Rules in Medicaid -- The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
document Keeping Medicaid after Cash Public Assistance or SSI Benefits Are Terminated
document Spousal Impoverishment Protections for Married Couples where One Spouse is in a Managed Long Term Care Plan - Pooled Trusts Allowed as an Option
document Know Your Rights: NYLAG Webinars on Medicare and Medicaid -

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This site provides general information only. This is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer. In addition, your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. To contact a lawyer, visit http://lawhelpny.org. We make every effort to keep these materials and links up-to-date and in accordance with New York City, New York state and federal law. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of this information. To report a dead link or other website-related problem, please e-mail us.