Applying for Medicaid - Don’t Apply Too Soon

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

    While it can be very unfortunate to wait too long to apply for Medicaid, possibly losing benefits that might have been available, and possibly losing money that did not need to be spent on care costs that could have been paid by Medicaid if an application had been made at the correct time, it can also be very unfortunate if a person applies for Medicaid too soon.

    One reason for this is that if a transfer occurred during a look back period, the person might be ineligible for Medicaid for a very significant period of time going forward into the future.  These periods going forward into the future can be well beyond the end of the look back period.

    A look back period is the period or length of time that Medicaid will look back from the date of a Medicaid application, to see whether there were any disqualifying transfers.

    If a person makes a gift (or transfers something for less than fair market value) the person generally has a period after the gift when they will not qualify for Medicaid, if the gift or transfer was made during the look back period.

    In contrast, if a look back period will soon expire, waiting to apply for Medicaid until after the end of this look back period can allow a person to successfully apply for Medicaid and to receive benefits far earlier than might otherwise be possible if an application was made during a look back period.