There is often a great deal of confusion between Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is what all American seniors receive from the government as health insurance once they hit a certain age. On the other hand, Medicaid is income-dependent. It is possible to have too much money for Medicaid benefits, but not for Medicare benefits.
Paying for elder care can be very expensive, and Medicare typically does not cover these costs. As a result, many seniors speak to divest themselves of assets in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits. However, according to the American Council on Aging, the Medicaid “look back” period intends to prevent seniors from doing this.
What is the “look back” period?
Essentially, the “look back” period is a predefined portion of time prior to you submitting an application for Medicaid benefits. In the majority of the country, including Wisconsin, the Medicaid “look back” period is 60 months.
This means that if you are applying for Medicaid as a senior citizen, the government will conduct an audit of your asset transfers to ensure that you did not divest yourself of large assets during this time. If you have, then the government will subject your application to a penalty period, where you are not eligible for Medicaid.
What happens after the initial “look back” period?
It is still possible to lose Medicaid coverage if you come into a large sum of money. For instance, if an individual gets a large inheritance it may disqualify that individual from Medicaid. It is extremely important to understand all of the rules surrounding government benefits before applying in order to ensure you get the best results.