Millions of Americans live in nursing homes. This is often the best option for those who need round-the-clock assistance. But how exactly do these people pay for this care? Most people in New York will be able to live in a nursing home because they are using Medicaid to pay for it. However, obtaining that benefit can be extremely difficult, especially when people must deal with the Medicaid look-back period. The following includes further information on the look-back period and if you really need to wait five years to enter a nursing home.
Medicaid is a state- and federal government-funded program that helps provide medical care to lower-income individuals. Originally, people would qualify for Medicaid only if they met a certain income requirement. However, the introduction of Obamacare allowed most people today to qualify for assistance by only having their gross income, and not the assets they hold, examined. This new plan, which is called MAGI Medicaid, allows more people to qualify for Medicaid but does not cover nursing home expenses. Some attempt to utilize Medicare/Medicaid together to cover the expenses, but even then, it does not go very far.
The look-back period
One of the issues that the government expected to run into is having elderly individuals simply gift their assets to their friends and family members. The government was concerned that those assets would go towards family instead of paying for the service. That is why the look-back period was introduced and why it lasts five years. During that time, the government will look back at all your financial activity and then determine if you are eligible for Medicaid.
When applying for Medicaid, it is important to work with a team consisting of a financial advisor as well as an attorney. They may help ensure that not only are your finances in order but that your rights are protected if you are ever challenged or denied.