Providing experienced legal services in a caring and compassionate manner to every client

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Medicaid
  4.  » Understanding the Medicaid lookback period

Understanding the Medicaid lookback period

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Medicaid |

For seniors in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, planning for long-term care is an essential part of managing their later years. When it comes to qualifying for Medicaid, understanding the lookback period is crucial. Medicaid sets an asset limit for eligibility, and the lookback period is designed to prevent applicants from bypassing this limit by transferring assets.

Navigating the lookback period

Medicaid’s lookback period is a timeframe during which all asset transfers by the applicant or their spouse are scrutinized. Here are key points to keep in mind:

  • The lookback period in Pennsylvania is 60 months, starting from the date of the Medicaid application.
  • Any asset transfers within this period are reviewed to ensure they’re not attempts to meet asset limits by gifting or underselling property.
  • Violations of the lookback rule result in a penalty period of Medicaid ineligibility, as those assets could have been used to pay for care.

Transactions that could incur penalties

Several types of transactions may be flagged during the lookback period:

  • Monetary gifts, such as cash given to a grandchild for graduation
  • Transfer of real estate, like a house deeded to a relative
  • Sale of personal items, such as collectibles or vehicles, for less than fair market value
  • Payments for care services without a formal agreement

Even after passing the initial lookback period, beneficiaries must remain cautious. Any new assets acquired, for example through inheritance, must not be gifted away, as this could lead to disqualification from Medicaid benefits.

Proper Medicaid planning can help seniors qualify for the assistance they need without resorting to impoverishment. By understanding the rules and working within them, seniors can ensure they have access to necessary care:

Seeking professional advice

Medicaid planning is intricate, and the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney can be invaluable. If you’re considering applying for Medicaid or are concerned about the lookback period, a Medicaid planning attorney can provide the expertise you need to make informed decisions about your assets and care. Contacting a Bucks County Medicaid planning lawyer can help secure your financial future while ensuring you receive the care you deserve.