My mom is on Medicaid in Florida, but we want to move her back to New York. Can we transfer Medicaid from state to state?
Unfortunately, if your mom is receiving Medicaid in one state, her Medicaid eligibility cannot be transferred to another state. This is because Medicaid is a state and federal run program, and although the federal government sets specific parameters for the program, each state runs its program as it sees fit within the federally set guidelines. What this means is that the eligibility requirements, such as income and assets, and even functional ability, is not consistent across all of the states. (See state specific eligibility requirements here).
While all Medicaid state plans offer nursing home care for those who meet the eligibility criteria, most states also offer home and community based services via Medicaid waivers, and available waiver programs are not consistent across the states. For instance, one state may offer a Medicaid waiver to provide personal care assistance and homemaker services in assisted living facilities, while another state may offer respite care for persons who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the exact Medicaid program in which your mom is receiving benefits may not be available in the state in which you would like her to move. All that being said, your mom’s Medicaid benefits must be cancelled in the state in which she resides, and she must reapply in the state in which she is relocating.
The good news is that with careful planning, this can be done without a lapse in your mom’s Medicaid coverage. Learn more about Medicaid eligibility when moving between states here.