Florida Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

What is the Medicaid Look-Back Period and the Penalty Period?

Jonathan Karp

A common misconception is about the difference between the five year look-back period for Medicaid eligibility, and the penalty period. Anytime one applies for Medicaid benefits, Medicaid is entitled to and does look back five years at all transfers that have been made for less than fair market value. Depending upon the size of that transfer, a penalty period of ineligibility may then be imposed. That penalty period is not necessarily five years. When you meet with our office, we’ll examine what transfers have been made, what penalty period exists. Oftentimes there are ways to reduce or eliminate that penalty period.