If you are in good health, you may think that long-term care in a nursing home is a concern for the future. However, if you think you will need care in the future and will need assistance to support that care, you may need to create your plan sooner than you believe. When should you consider your plan for long-term care?
Medicaid’s look-back program may impact your eligibility.
Your eligibility for Medicaid is based on more than your financial situation on the day you apply for Medicaid benefits. In addition to reviewing your current income and assets, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will also “look back” at the five years before you filed your application.
This review will include every transaction and ownership transfer you made during the look-back period. If you gave away assets, transferred ownership to a trust or sold them for less than they were worth during this period to meet Medicaid asset and income limits, you may face penalties that delay the benefits you need. While some transfers of ownership are exempt from these penalties, many incur these penalties.
When should you consider your plans?
As a result of the look-back period, you may need to plan far in advance to protect your eligibility. Your need for Medicaid may be several years away, but reviewing your finances and creating a plan to protect your assets and eligibility can provide you with confidence that you are financially ready when you need care.