Medicaid Look Back Period Planning – Gifting larger amounts could extend the look back provisions
There are many problems that are associated with doing pre-planning Medicaid to avoid the look back period provision. One of the most common problems is the lack of certainty of when the look back period should actually begin. Presently, the amount of time for the period is 5 years, or 60 months. This means that any gifts or transfers that are made during this time will be cause for the individual having to wait out the look back period. Individuals should also keep in mind that smaller gifts are better. If large gifts are made, this look back period could extend longer than 5 years, causing the penalty to be longer. This means that the patient will have to wait even longer to get into a nursing home and receive any Medicaid benefits.
Medicaid Irrevocable Trust – UltraTrust®
One thing that can be done is placing the assets in irrevocable trusts. Using a Medicaid irrevocable trust such as the UltraTrust® does not allow the assets to be used by the owner, but it can grant a discretionary distribution. The assets in the irrevocable trust would be considered unavailable to the individual that owned the assets. This can be a great help to those who need Medicaid benefits quickly and cannot wait to be placed into a nursing home. However, the patient would still have to wait the 60 month period. This is essential if the patient wishes to avoid having the assets or funding of the trust be considered for the final determination of a divestment penalty divisor.