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What is the Medicaid lookback period in Florida?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Elder Law, Medicaid Planning |

Medicaid is a needs-based program that’s administered by the Agency for Health Care Administration in Florida. This helps to cover specific medical needs for people who don’t have the means to pay for them.

For people who need long-term care, Medicaid can help to pay some of those expenses. One of the qualifying points is that they must not have assets that they can liquidate to cover the cost of care.

Purpose of the Medicaid lookback period

When a person applies for Medicaid coverage, the program representative looks at the applicant’s financial transactions from the previous five years. They’re trying to determine if the person has given away or transferred any assets within that time. This is done to ensure Medicaid only pays for care once the person has paid what they’re able to pay.

If it’s found that the applicant has ineligible transfers during that period, they will have to pay a penalty. This involves taking the total amount of ineligible transactions and dividing it by the average private patient rate for Florida. The resulting number is how many months the applicant is ineligible for Medicaid, and the penalty period begins on the date of application.

Certain estate planning options can help seniors protect their assets to hand down to their loved ones, but it’s best to take steps for Medicaid planning as early as possible. Working with someone who understands how to handle this situation without breaching the five-year lookback period is beneficial for anyone who may need long-term care using the financial assistance Medicaid offers.