Florida Medicaid Look-Back For Long Term Care

The Florida Department of Children and Families has finally decided on the implementation of a period of Medicaid look-back for long term care programs.

What is a look-back period?  When you go to file for Medicaid, they ask you whether you have given any assets away for the past three years.  If you have given away assets during that time, you can be denied Medicaid benefits for a certain period of time, up to 36 months.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 changed the look-back period from three to five years.  For transfers to a trust, the look-back period was already five years.  Florida, however, did not actually implement the look-back period until January 1, 2010.  Any gifts or transfers made after 1/1/2010 were supposed to be subject to the five year look-back.  However, it was not until January of this year that the Department of Children and Families actually began phasing in the 5 year look-back.  Thus, beginning January 2013, the five year look-back period will be phased-in by one month increments until December, 2014 when the full 60 month period will be realized.  Non-trust transfers prior to January 1, 2013 will still be subject to the three year look-back.  Transfers to a trust are still subject to a 60 month look-back period (as that rule was not affected by the new change).

Laurie Ohall is a Board Certified Florida Elder Law Attorney.  To learn more about Florida Elder Law and issues affecting seniors, please contact the Law Offices of Laurie Ohall.