Most Medicaid applicants quickly realize that giving away assets can get them in trouble. To receive help paying for the nursing home through Medicaid, you must disclose your financial transactions during the last five years, referred to as the “look-back period.” Ohio has a five-year look-back period. If you gave away an asset or sold it for less than fair market value, the state considers that an improper transfer. What does that mean? It means when you run out of money, the state will not pay for your care until you’ve served your penalty!
During the penalty period, you’re ineligible for Medicaid benefits and must find private dollars to pay for care. This period of time can be problematic, because you are out of money. To calculate your penalty period, Ohio divides the amount you improperly transferred by the average monthly cost of nursing home care.
If you’ve already made an improper gift, you can “cure” the gift. However, the entire value of the gift must be returned to you. If this occurs, the improper gift would then be “cured” in the eyes of the state and no penalty period would result.
What happens if you gave a gift to a family member and that family member now refuses to return the value of the gift? You have a big problem. You should immediately contact an experienced elder law attorney at AlerStallings. We can best help you and your loved ones navigate the complicated Medicaid process and have legal strategies to drastically improve your situation. For more information, contact an AlerStallings attorney today to arrange for a complimentary phone consultation.