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Medicaid "Look-back"


Hi Jennifer, 

What is the look-back for Medicaid qualification? 

Thanks, A


For NY, its 5 years.  And to clarify why it is important in context, for many, paying for a nursing home out of pocket at $12k per month is cost prohibitive.  To qualify for government assistance, you (or your parents you may be planning for) need to be at basic poverty levels to qualify for full freight payment by Uncle Sam.  Of course you could have long term care insurance as coverage as well.  Watch gifts in the 5 year lookback and plan in advance.  If you don't qualify, the government will expect you to pay until you do - have spent out all sums.  The solution - transfer the money out of your control more than 5 years from when you need coverage.  This can be tough to do for those who need the money to live - but this is where trusts come in... 

For more information on this topic, email Jonathan at

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