When settling your estate and financial plans for the future, one element that may continue to plague your thoughts is what happens when you need long-term care. If getting help for your care involves Medicaid at some point, you should prepare yourself for a financial look-back.
Florida requires all of those 65 and older who apply for help through Medicaid to allow the government to review their finances to ensure a need for government services. The look-back period may prove crucial for your current and future financial plans.
What is a look back?
When it comes time for you to apply for Medicaid, the state will review your financial records from the previous five years. What are they looking for? They want to confirm that you do not have the financial resources to provide for all of your care. The look back gives them that window into your recent financial transactions.
How can a look back impact your planning?
The purpose of the look back is to ensure that you have not moved assets out of your name to qualify for government-provided Medicaid services. If you once had a substantial amount of assets, and they are now gone, Medicaid may deny your claim. However, if you can show that you moved the money to care for yourself or your spouse, then you may pass the look-back test.
The state will deny your application if they believe you moved assets to get out of paying for your medical care. If this is the case, you may have to wait until those transfers are in the rearview before applying for Medicaid again.