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Explaining the Medicaid look back period

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Explaining the Medicaid look back period

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2019 | Estate Planning

Planning for the long-term care of a loved one in Colorado can be tricky. There are a lot of rules and restrictions when it comes to using government programs, such as Medicaid. It is very easy to end up not getting the benefits you planned to get because of an error along the way. At Kaeble Law, LLC, we want to ensure you know about your options and the programs available, along with educating you about restrictions that could cause an issue.

When it comes to Medicaid, qualifying is income-based. The state will not only look at your loved one’s current income and assets but also that of previous years. The Medicaid look back period covers five years in which the state can see what assets your loved one owned and sold. If it sees your loved one sold considerable assets in the previous five years, those assets will add to the assets that he or she must use before Medicaid approval.

As you can imagine, not being aware of this or planning for this look back period could delay your loved one from getting the medical coverage he or she needs. Medicaid expects that your loved one will use his or her savings and assets to pay for care before the program will pick up any costs. There are ways for your loved one to be able to leave assets to family, but there has to be careful planning so those assets are not penalized by the look back period.

Having a clear understanding of how Medicaid works and how to plan correctly so your loved one can get the benefits is not the easiest task when there are things like the look back period. Learn more about what you should know on our elder law page.