Any input on the look back period and other Medicaid requirements?


Im wanting to try and get some information for a friend of mine. He is 57 years old and lives in Iowa. He owns a few properties and was approved for Medicaid. His income is under the requirements, trust me. These house are very low cost like 25 grand. So the look back period, does it only work when applying for Medicaid. Or does Medicaid also do this after you pass. Trying to protect assets, but he feels the need to make sure that Medicaid gets one of the properties at least to pay back his debt. Not in nursing home and will most likely not be in one ever. He has been told that Medicaid looks back 5 years after death and any assets moved around to relative or maybe add name on of the titles of home to help protect it, will be raked back and taken. I'm not saying hes trying to scam anyone this man is so honest its awesome. These homes are not worth very much. He just wanted to leave something for family. He has a lawyer but I don't feel she's telling him everything and he's being told to do something that may hurt him. He does have a longterm girlfriend of 17 years, they live together and none of her income was looked at for approval. Does common law play into effect here? Does Medicaid recognize common law marriage. I would appreciate any input on this. I hope I gave enough information but please if more is needed to get question answered it would be appreciated.



There’s a ocean of difference between being “honest” and “full disclosure”.
I’d be concerned that his investment property / rentals were not disclosed accurately both to Medicaid and the attorney. 

The “look back” refers to what assets were & went to 5 years from the date of the Medicaid application. So if done today, that means going back to 2013. 
For after death, it’s an Estate Recovery process (MERP), in which the state or its outside contractor, is required to attempt to get back from the deceased estate any assets through whatever process Iowa allows. Some states laws allow for a lien to be placed on the exempt asset home from date Medicaid started; while other states do not allow for this and instead it’s an after death claim on the estate. 

At 57, he is very young for needing a LTC facility, aka a NH. So I’m guessing that he actually applied for community based Medicaid rather than LTC Medicaid.??
If so, community based can allow for more monthly income & more exempt assets (2k) than LTC Medicaid. But he still has to be “at need” for Medicaid for however Iowa Medicaid is administered.

For Medicaid, your primary home is considered an exempt asset for your lifetime. Some states can require the applicant to show a homestead exemption in their name. 
But investment property, a 2nd home, % ownership in a LLC/Inc/ partnership held property can be considered “non exempt” even if the property has a low tax assessor value. If it’s viewed as non-exempt, then until all non-homestead property is sold with proceeds spent-down or all verified FMV rentals are included in income available will they be “at need” enough to eligible for Medicaid. Knowing exactly how Iowa Medicaid determines exempt VS. non-exempt assets and required spend down is done will be critical. If the atty your friend spoke with or hired was not experienced in Medicaid & NAELA or CELA certified, then your friend and his live-in GF really imo need to take all financials and have Medicaid eligibility reviewed by an atty who is. & the GF should clearly ask her legal position in all this. 
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to igloo572

You didn't say they were rentals first time around. Income producing property is different than just owning houses. Not all states have common law marriages so if the girlfriend is going to be taken care of they should check with a lawyer now.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to vegaslady

Jjariz. He did report all property. As I said hes very honest. Trust me no fraud. But I think I got my answer. I just want to make sure his lawyer is telling him everything. I appreciate your answers. Medicaid does know about the rentals and if I wanted to I could educate someone on all of that and how it is possible to have income of that type and still receive medicaid but I think thats in a different post. Thank you all for the help
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Gmaof6

If Medicaid finds out, he may lose coverage. All assets are counted and property sales will have a lien.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to MACinCT

"He has been told that Medicaid looks back 5 years after death and any assets moved around to relative or maybe add name on of the titles of home to help protect it, will be raked back and taken"

The lookback period starts 5 years before Medicaid need and the rules continue to extend until the need for Medicaid ends (often death). The fact that he has properties (regardless of how little they are worth) sounds like he didn't give full disclosure when applying for Medicaid, and is subject to fraud laws.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to jjariz

Gmaof6, I read through your post and in all honestly I tried to answer it but it is too complex. I do appreciate that you are trying to help your friend :)

Your friend would need to talk to an "Elder Law Attorney" who is licensed to practice this specialty law in Iowa.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to freqflyer