Preserving & Protecting Your Family’s Assets & Legacy

What is the Five-Year Lookback for Medicaid?

by | May 16, 2023 | Medicaid Planning |

Medicaid is a government program that provides medical care to individuals with long-term health conditions. Many people who require chronic care depend on Medicaid to cover the high cost of nursing homes, which can be upwards of $18,000 per month on Long Island. However, applying for Chronic Care Medicaid comes with a 60-month lookback period, which can affect eligibility.

The 60-month lookback period is in place to prevent people from transferring their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Medicaid conducts a thorough financial review of the applicant and their spouse for the previous 60 months to ensure no assets were transferred or money given away to qualify for benefits. If any such transfers are found, the individual will be deemed ineligible for benefits for a certain period of time. The current penalty rate is one month of Medicaid coverage denial for every $14,136 that was gifted in the last 60 months.

Although the 60-month lookback period can be a significant obstacle for individuals seeking Chronic Care Medicaid, proactive planning with an experienced Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney is the best way to ensure Medicaid eligibility in the event of a future health crisis. The attorney can explain the rules and regulations surrounding Medicaid eligibility and develop the best strategy to protect assets.

If a health crisis has already occurred, there are still ways to protect as many assets as possible. It’s crucial to contact an attorney who specializes in this area as soon as possible so that the planning and application can be submitted promptly.


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