Nursing Home Medicaid for Married Couples –The Medicaid Look Back Does Not Apply to transfers to Spouses

Many have heard of the Medicaid Look Back, but few fully understand this aspect of Medicaid. When someone applies for Medicaid, they are asked about any gifts or transfers of assets for the 5 years (or 6o months) prior to applying for Medicaid. This is the government’s way of deterring people from purposefully impoverishing themselves to get Medicaid benefits. It works like this: For every $6,175 (as of 2016) given away during the 60 months preceding the Medicaid application, the applicant will receive a one-month penalty during which Medicaid will not pay for their care. Every gift or transfer of assets during the 5-year period could be subject to a penalty EXCEPT for gifts or transfers made between spouses. Spouses can transfer assets/money/property between one another without worrying about the transfer penalty. Medicaid has different rules for spouses than for individuals. Our April newsletter explained the income rules for Medicaid eligibility. Our May newsletter will have more information on the assets rules for Nursing Home Medicaid eligibility, so look out for the newsletter later this week. And if you or someone you know has questions about how Medicaid could work for them, please call our office for a complimentary consultation at (404) 843-0121.


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