A daughter asks about her father’s eligibility for Medicaid after he transfers his home to her. Will his eligibility for Medicaid be affected by the transfer of his real estate wealth? Find out about eligibility for Medicaid and the Medicaid lookback period.
The Medicaid lookback period is 5 years. Any changes made to assets within 5 years of applying for Medicaid could come back to haunt you. Medicaid creditors are able to look at any transfers of property made during that time.
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A trust can be used to shelter assets and give ownership to the trustees of the property, or other assets. However, if the previous owner goes into nursing home care soon after the trust is set up, it can be undone by the state to pay for the original owner’s care. While using cash or other assets to pay for long-term care isn’t as appealing as having Medicaid pick up the bill, that’s what assets are there for.
As your parents age you may find yourself having to decide how to care for them. Part of choosing the right elder care solution for your family is financial planning including looking at what assets are available to pay for the care and whether the family member is eligible for Medicaid. It’s important to realize that hospitals who help care for elder family members may refer you to a hospital-affiliated nursing home as opposed to a solution that may be best for your unique situation.