When a Medicaid applicant makes gifts or transfers resources to someone other than an exempt person such as a spouse or a disabled child, that gift or transfer renders the applicant ineligible for Medicaid for either five (5) years or a period of ineligibility for Medicaid for nursing home care.
The five (5) look back period begins to run on the date the gift or transfer is made. The period of ineligibility for Medicaid nursing home care begins to run when the applicant is in a nursing home, as a private pay patient, and except for the gift of transfer, would be eligible for Medicaid.
When the recipient of the gift or transfer returns it to the applicant before the Medicaid application is filed it is considered a return gift thereby negating the penalty period created by the initial transfer.
If the recipient of the gift or transfer returns only a portion of it before the Medicaid application was filed, the penalty period will be reduced, but not eliminated. If you are interested in protecting some of your hard earned resources for the benefit of your beneficiaries, the experienced estate planning attorneys at Klein & Sanchez would gladly provide you with a free consultation.