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  • Writer's pictureJames Dolenga

You can get help caring for your loved one without going broke by qualifying for Medicaid

Medicaid is a government-funded program that helps people with limited financial resources pay for medical and long-term care. One aspect of Medicaid long-term care benefits that is important to understand is the Medicaid Lookback Period and Penalties. In this blog post, we’ll explore what these terms mean and why they matter for anyone considering Medicaid long-term care benefits. What is the Medicaid Lookback Period? The Medicaid Lookback Period refers to the period of time that Medicaid looks back to review an applicant’s financial history to determine eligibility for long-term care benefits. The lookback period is typically five years, although it can be longer in certain circumstances. During this time, Medicaid looks at all financial transactions made by the applicant, including gifts, transfers, and other financial dealings. The goal is to ensure that the applicant has not given away or transferred assets in an attempt to qualify for Medicaid benefits. If Medicaid discovers any gifts or transfers made during the lookback period, they will impose a penalty period. This penalty period is a period of time during which the applicant is not eligible for Medicaid benefits, even if they meet all other eligibility requirements. What are Medicaid Penalty Periods? Medicaid Penalty Periods are periods of time during which an applicant is not eligible for Medicaid long-term care benefits due to gifts or transfers made during the lookback period. The penalty period is based on the value of the gifts or transfers and is calculated by dividing the total amount by the average monthly cost of long-term care in the applicant’s state. For example, if an applicant gave away $60,000 during the lookback period and the average monthly cost of long-term care in their state is $6,000, their penalty period would be 10 months (60,000 ÷ 6,000 = 10). It’s important to note that the penalty period begins on the date the applicant would have been eligible for Medicaid long-term care benefits had they not made any gifts or transfers during the lookback period. Why Do Medicaid Lookback Periods and Penalties Matter? Medicaid Lookback Periods and Penalties matter because they can significantly impact an applicant’s eligibility for long-term care benefits. If an applicant has made gifts or transfers during the lookback period, they may face a penalty period during which they are not eligible for benefits. This can be especially problematic for individuals who have given away assets to family members or other loved ones in an attempt to qualify for Medicaid benefits. While it’s understandable that individuals want to protect their assets, giving them away can lead to penalties and a longer wait time for Medicaid benefits. In conclusion, the Medicaid Lookback Period and Penalties are important factors to consider when planning for long-term care. It’s essential to work with an experienced elder law attorney to develop a plan that will protect your assets while also ensuring that you are eligible for Medicaid long-term care benefits when you need them.

To find out how to get Medicaid to pay for in-home supportive services, assisted living or nursing home care nationwide, call the Law Office of James Dolenga at (866)772-5299.

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