When applying for Medicaid benefits, Medicaid will examine the applicant's assets to determine if any assets were transferred away, prior to applying for Medicaid, in order to qualify the applicant for Medicaid benefits. The look-back period is 60 months prior to the submission of the application. It is important to note that the transfer rules only apply to applicants for nursing home Medicaid benefits --- they do not apply to those applying for community based home care benefits. As such, it is possible for an applicant to transfer assets and become immediately available for Medicaid home care benefits.
When applying for nursing home or institutional Medicaid benefits, an applicant's home may be permissibly transferred to a spouse, a child who is under age 21, blind or disabled, a sibling who has an equity interest in the home and who was residing in the home for at least one year before the applicant was institutionalized, or to a child age 21 or older who was residing in the home for two years prior to the applicant being institutionalized.
The transfer of assets, other than the home, are permissible to a spouse, a certified blind or disabled child, or, for applicants under age 65, to a trust that meets certain specified requirements.
In certain circumstances, assets may be transferred into a Medicaid annuity and thus qualify the applicant to receive Medicaid benefits.