How does the Medicaid look back period affect eligibility?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2022 | Medicaid Planning |

When people in New York start to plan for their later years, they may know that there will be a time when they will need to move into a nursing home to receive the care that they need. Nursing home care can be expensive, and people may need to plan ahead to ensure that they have enough to pay for those costs. Luckily, health insurance may pay for a nursing home. However, those premiums and additional costs may cost a significant amount of money.

That is why Medicaid can be so beneficial for people entering nursing homes. Not everyone is eligible to receive Medicaid. There are income and asset limits that people must meet in order to receive Medicaid. However, there are ways that people can plan for these limits through Medicaid planning.

The five-year look-back period can claw back certain assets

One of the ways they can do this is by reducing the number of assets that they own. It may seem like it would be a good idea to simply give it to their children while they are still living instead of passing it on at their death. People need to be careful when they do this and they have to plan for it.

When determining whether people are eligible for Medicaid, they will look back at people’s assets for the five years prior to their filing. They will ask whether people gave away or gifted property to people during that time frame. They will also look at assets sold and determine whether the property sold was sold at fair market value. If either occurred, the assets given away and those sold for less than fair market value can be added as assets to people to determine eligibility.

Having Medicaid can save people living in nursing homes in New York a significant amount of money. That is why it is important to start planning for eligibility well in advance. This is especially true as there is a five-year look-back period. Experienced attorneys understand the different ways to qualify for Medicaid and may be able to guide one through the process.