The Last Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney You’ll Ever Need

Attorney Jennifer Moore and her canine ambassadors Chloe and Libby

What is the look-back period for Medicaid in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Medicare/Medicaid

Long-term care can be costly, but necessary for many people as they age. While many people want to age at home, they may eventually need more care than what can be reasonably provided at home. 

One thing that some people may not realize is that Medicare doesn’t provide benefits for long-term care. Instead, people who qualify will need to turn to the needs-based Medicaid for help with paying for long-term care. 

Qualifying for Medicaid

Because Medicaid is meant for people who have a financial need for the benefits, there are strict qualifications that must be met. These include asset and income limits. When some people hear that, they may be tempted to give away, sell or transfer their assets to try to qualify, but that won’t work. 

In order to stop people from taking drastic steps just to qualify for services they wouldn’t otherwise qualify for, Medicaid instituted a look-back period that starts with the date of application. The program can look back at 60 months, or five years, of financial and asset transactions to determine if there are any that will prevent immediate eligibility for Medicaid. 

If there are any transactions that are flagged for Medicaid ineligibility, the applicant will have a penalty period. This is an amount of time that they will be disqualified from being able to receive benefits. It starts on the date that they would have been eligible if hadn’t been for the ineligible transaction. 

There are certain estate planning options that might help individuals with Medicaid eligibility, but some of these need to be done sooner rather than later. Because this is such a complex situation, working with someone familiar with these matters is beneficial for anyone who’s concerned about the need for Medicaid in the future.