2024 New York Medicaid Income and Asset Levels

When an individual New Yorker applies for Medicaid to pay for nursing home costs, they can qualify if their available financial resources do not exceed $31,175. If they do have more resources than allowed, Medicaid will not approve benefits until they reduce their assets by spending them down.

Medicaid Eligibility in NY

Every family in New York must one day think about securing elder or nursing care, either for themselves or for another family member. With the cost of nursing home care and in-home personal assistance rising so rapidly, planning ahead for this expensive need is essential. Advance planning can enable you to preserve your assets for the next generation or control its distribution  and still qualify for Medicaid’s nursing home and community care subsidy programs. 

This article provides you with the current 2024 New York Medicaid income and resource eligibility thresholds. At Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates, our experienced estate and Medicaid planning attorneys have helped hundreds of individuals and families protect their hard-earned assets while preserving their eligibility for Medicaid coverage to pay for long-term care. Whether planning for  nursing home care (Institutional Medicaid) or obtaining care in a home-care or community setting (Community Medicaid), meeting with an experienced elder law and Medicaid planning attorney will greatly benefit you and your family.

NY Medicaid Eligibility Generally

Medicaid is jointly funded and administered by the federal government and the State of New York. It is a means-tested program intended to provide financial support to pay the cost of healthcare for those with low income and limited available financial resources. Medicaid reviews the financial transactions and disposition of any assets above a specified threshold  by an applicant for nursing home coverage that  occurred in the five-year period preceding the date of the application. For those who apply for benefits within the 5-year look-back period, an elder law and Medicaid planning lawyer can still help preserve substantial assets.

If an applicant for Medicaid owns assets exceeding the level permitted to qualify for coverage, the person may need to “spend down” the excess before they will be approved for Medicaid benefits. And, if the applicant earns income in excess of the eligibility cap, the applicant’s Medicaid benefits may be correspondingly reduced. However, if the applicant who works with an elder law and Medicaid planning attorney at Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates may avoid spending down assets by using one of several strategies designed to preserve the assets according to the owner’s wishes. Placing the assets in an irrevocable trust is one option. If such a trust is created five years before applying for Medicaid, the funds are not counted for Medicaid eligibility. Your individual circumstances determine which approach will best serve your needs.

Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates has decades of experience helping people decide which types of legal strategies will satisfy their goals, preserve their Medicaid eligibility, and protect their hard-earned property and financial assets.

Institutional Medicaid or Community Medicaid

In New York, Medicaid has two categories of healthcare coverage, each with its own income and resource eligibility limits. The eligibility standards that apply in your case depend on whether you are seeking Medicaid coverage for long-term nursing home care or applying for Medicaid benefits covering your personal care needs in a community setting.

These are New York’s 2024 Medicaid income and resource eligibility caps:

Nursing Home (Institutional) Medicaid Income and Resource Limits 2024*

  • Resource allowance for applicants in nursing home: $31,175 (per March 2024 adjustment).
  • Resource allowance for a married couple both applying for Medicaid: $42,312 (per March 2024 adjustment).
  • Income allowance for applicants in nursing home: $50 per month.
  • Resource allowance for applicant’s spouse living in the community: $154,140 (maximum).
  • Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance(MMMNA) for community spouse: $3,853.50.

*Applies to non-MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) applicants, which includes age 65+ and those who are disabled applying for nursing home coverage.


When an individual New Yorker applies for Medicaid to pay for nursing home costs, they can qualify if their available financial resources do not exceed $31,175. If they do have more resources than allowed, Medicaid will not approve benefits until they reduce their assets by spending them down. Examples of ways they can spend down those funds include paying off debt, modifying their home for disability access, prepaying funeral expenses, or paying medical bills, among others.

If the nursing home Medicaid applicant’s spouse continues to live in the community, Medicaid allows the community spouse  to own at least $74,820  and up to $154,140 in resources. If the community spouse alone has less than the minimum level of resources, the shortfall may be obtained by transferring any excess resources belonging to the spouse residing in the nursing home.  Additionally, New York does have spousal refusal laws which help protect Medicaid eligibility even for those community spouses  whose assets exceed $154,140.00.

Home Exemption

In 2024, NY Medicaid exempts the applicant’s home equity up to $1,071,000 from being counted as an available resource.

Minimum Maintenance Allowance for Community Spouse

To ensure that the community spouse of a nursing home resident does not become destitute, NY Medicaid permits them to receive a “Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance” (MMMNA) of up to $3,853.50 per month. However, the spouse living in the nursing home is permitted to retain only $50 each month for personal needs.

Home Care (Community) Medicaid Income and Resource Limits 2024

  • Resource allowance for home care applicant $31,175. (per March 2024 adjustment)
  • Resource allowance for a married couple both applying for Medicaid: $42,312) (per March 2024 adjustment)
  • Income allowance for a single home care applicant: $1,732 per month.
  • Income allowance for married home care applicants (both applying): $2,268 per month.


The New York Community Medicaid program is intended to assist individuals and couples who can continue to live in the community but need various levels of personal care and nursing assistance. The population of New Yorkers receiving community-based Medicaid coverage for in-home and other community-based personal and nursing services has expanded. This growth is due to the lower costs and mental health benefits of receiving care at home rather than in an institutional setting.

Potential Look Back Period

The plans to initiate a 30-month look-back period for Community Medicaid applicants have been delayed several times in the past two years. At present, New York has not implemented the look-back period for Community Medicaid applicants and will not do so until at least March, 2025.

Your Elder Law and Medicaid Planning Attorney Can Help

 The eligibility criteria for NY Medicaid can be confusing for anyone who is learning about them for the first time. Most people do not have occasion to study the complex regulations or various categories of Medicaid benefits until the need arises, sometimes unexpectedly. This is sometimes further complicated by changes to the income or resource levels, as occurred in March 2024.

In both the community and institutional setting, there are often ways to protect assets of those who are over-resourced, ways in which you can protect assets even when your planning was not done in advance, prior to a lookback period.

The elder law and Medicaid planning lawyers at Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates have a comprehensive knowledge of New York Medicaid eligibility criteria and can create a customized strategy to preserve your Medicaid eligibility and protect your life savings and other property from Medicaid’s reach. With careful planning and skillful document preparation, you can secure your future long-term care without spending down your assets.

New York’s Elder Law and Medicaid Planning Law Firm
Contact Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates:

Call 1.914.816.2900 or email us at: [email protected]

Ariel S. Rosenzveig
Ariel Rosenzveig

Ariel S. Rosenzveig received his Juris Doctor from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in May, 2011, and has been practicing law with the firm since August, 2011. During his summers while in law school, Ariel interned with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission in New York and with the Securities & Futures Commission in Hong Kong, China.

While in law school, Ariel served on the staff of the Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal, volunteered with the Cardozo Advocates for Battered Women, and participated in the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program. Prior to attending law school, Ariel worked as an arbitrage trader for a small proprietary trading firm on Wall Street. Ariel graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University in 2006.

Ariel is licensed to practice law in the states of New York and New Jersey, and is a member of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), NYSBA’s Elder Law section, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). In June, 2015, Ariel successfully completed a certificate program in mediation through the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

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