The Medicaid Look-Back Period
Dec. 17, 2022
In New Jersey, Medicaid is a program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals and families. Medicaid also provides long-term care services, such as nursing home care, to eligible individuals.
To determine eligibility for Medicaid long-term care benefits, the state of New Jersey has a "look-back" period of five years. This means that the state will review an applicant's financial information for the five years prior to the date of the application to see if they have made any transfers of assets for less than fair market value.
If the state determines that an applicant has made such transfers within the five-year look-back period, it may consider the applicant to have "given away" assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. This is known as Medicaid planning or Medicaid estate planning.
If the state determines that an applicant has given away assets within the five-year look-back period, it may impose a penalty period during which the applicant will not be eligible for Medicaid benefits. The length of the penalty period will depend on the value of the assets that were transferred.
It is important to note that there are certain exclusions and exceptions to the five-year look-back period, such as transfers to a spouse or transfers of a home to a child who has lived in the home for at least two years.
It is a good idea to consult with an attorney or a financial professional who is experienced in Medicaid planning to understand the specific requirements for Medicaid eligibility in New Jersey and to help ensure that you are in compliance with the state's rules.