< Back to article

The Difference Between Medicaid’s Lookback and Penalty Periods


I am 76, my wife is 74 and we do not have LTC insurance nor have set up a trusts for our assets. What advice do you have

I see here that some text has been provided under my name and I did not write what it says.

In Ohio, caring for the needs of a spouse is required by law. You need to look into the law in your state.

Just wondered if selling a house while receiving medicaid and giving the money to a disabled daughter who works and receives medicaid through the ticket to work program would not be penalized for me but that would give her assets over the limit. How would it affect her?

This article has been to a major extent very helpful. But because everyone lives under different circumstances not all bases can be covered. In my situation I am a caregiver for my Mother who is living in my home. My Mother's husband of 30 years, keeps their apartment nearby and visits to be with her daily. I am paid a certain amount for food, clothes, Depends and things like that. My stepfather does not wish to part with any of their nest egg and I can understand this. However my husband and I are disabled. My brother is disabled. Unfortunately in 2005 my husband was the victim of medical error and was forced to stop work. We have gone through every penny we had saved for our retirement. My brother had emergency surgery to repair his intestines which for unknown reasons exploded. He then had three further surgeries because of doctor and hospital error and is unable to work. His wife has had a heart transplant, is older than he and has not worked for almost twenty years. Both my brother and I could benefit from cash gifts that would by necessity come from our parents savings account. My husband was a well-paid corporate executive until he was fired at 50 and then made a very good living as a consultant. He just never thought to get personal disability insurance and it was a terrible error on our part. My brother worked for the same company for over 20 years but was fired by them when he started having problems that limited what he could do on the job. He had a small 401K but was not fully vested in his pension plan when he was fired and his health care insurance refused to pay for most of the medical bills that resulted from his emergency surgery or the two that followed due to error by the physician and the home health care nurse, although the hospital accepted responsibility and wiped out less than 50% of his bills. It is not like we are deadbeats. (My husband and I have used up for our living needs, because we could not sell our home, and for our medical requirements, like his first hip replacement surgery in Belgium, etc., nearly $490,000 that we had saved for our eventual retirement. Having to liquidate our IRA's has left us in debt to the IRSWe need medical attention, extensive dental work and in our case, we have needed to do much needed deferred maintenance on our home for many years so that we can downsize. It is now viable again since our home is no longer under water. I have a very hard time with the fact that should my Stepfather help us out, just as almost all parents would help their children, my Mother's future nursing home requirements might be penalized. We all believe we will take care of her at home as long as humanly possible but it is becoming apparent that our disabilities are making caring for her (two people have to lift her) harder and harder as time goes by. Who are those people who are able to leave homes and bank accounts to their children? They can't all be billionaires!

What are the penalties of Medicaid if a parent has been on Medicaid for over 5 yrs., is there still a look back period? He is living with me & my husband, still owns his home, but not able to live there or take care of it anymore. What can be done without causing him to lose his Medicaid! He has alzheimers, & disabled, gets 879.00 a month from Social Security, & pays property, auto, homeowners insurance, & utilities on his home to keep from closing up!

We have Long Term Care insurance to protect our assets. We have been paying for it since turning 50. Is this unwise? It has no limits as to time for paying out. A friend says it is the best thing her mom ever bought. She didn't start it long before she was in the NH. Ours has home care as well. I just read read here "How do I get Medicaid?". My parents have Long term care insurance as well. It worked for mom. I hope dad never needs to use it.

My mother has Alzheimer's and I am considering moving from Missouri to Michigan and live with her in her house to care for her. I know that it is possible at some point she may have to go into a nursing home and apply for Medicaid. What do I need to do to prove that I lived in her house for 2 years to care for her. Do I have her immediately transfer the house or deed it to me right away as soon as I can. I am in my 60's myself and for me to do this I would have to sell my home in Missouri and after my mother's is gone I want to be able to continue to live in her home. I would be too old and couldn't afford to start over with a new mortgage and house payments.


The penalty divisor I believed is usually based on the cost of care in the state where you are located, that's why it varied just like how the cost of long term care services varied per state (www.infolongtermcare.org/ltci-learning-center/what-is-long-term-care-insurance/government-long-term-care/). I personally think it is not a wise idea to hide money or asset from the government, they always have a way of finding it.