What is the process for the Medicare/Medicaid five year look-back period, nursing homes and moving to another state?


Hello to all. I have a question. Mom will probably need to go to a nursing home within 6-9 months. Her health is continuing to decline severely . My husband's job just told him they are almost certain they want him/us to relocate in the next year or year and a half. Does anyone know how this works with Medicare/Medicaid? If mom has satisfied the five year look-back period and gets placed in a nursing home in our current state, and her only living relative and power of attorney (me, her daughter) has to move across country, will mom be eligible to go directly into a nursing home in the new state, or is there a waiting period or new look-back period in the new state?

Thanks a million.

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Sahk - Medicaid although a joint federal & state program, is administered & managed by the states in their own "unique" way but within an overall federal guideline. The states set their own income amount but the federal lookback & assets limit seem to be the same no matter what the state. New state #2 will require that mom become a true resident of the state. Theory is you take care of your state residents first & foremost - So you will have to do whatever to get mom's new state residency going. One thing that would be helpful would be to have mom's banking done at one which has branches in both states. If her current isn't that, the before you move her account make sure you get all her banking statements for the past 5 years to have already with you before you move. Total PIA to get them once you move away....

If mom owns any assets in the old state like a home or a car - those are exempt assets for Medicaid BUT ONLY FOR THE OLD STATE. So if mom has either, they will need to be sold before the move (& of course the proceeds used for spend-down). If mom has already sold her home & car, I would make sure I have all the paperwork on that just in case new state #2 wants "official" documentation on any real property transfers. If not, they will become non-exempt assets and she will be declined state #2 Medicaid till that happens as she will have assets over the 2K limit.
SOmetimes in unusual circumstances, if they are on Medicaid in state # 1 they can get covered by state #2 - this is what my MIL & those in her NH went through when they have to move due to Hurricane Katrina. And then even then it wasn't seamless, as some ladies who had property back in NOLA after about 6 mos on TX Medicaid, had to either find a NH in LA & move back so they could continue on LA Medicaid and keep the exempt property OR it had to be sold with the proceeds used for their spend-down to stay on TX Medicaid.

Its good you are thinking about this now & before the move too. Good luck
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Bear in mind that different states have different Medicaid rules. Medicaid approved in one state may not be approved in another. IF the nursing home is part of a large chain with facilities in multiple state, they can help make the move happen. The medical transport will be totally out of pocket and can be a huge expense.
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