What is the Look Back Period?
The look-back period changed by federal law back in 2006. What it basically stated was if you have done anything with your assets, specifically if you've made gifts to either your children, your church, or charity in the previous 60 months or 5 years, whether it's gifting to a trust or gifting to these individuals directly, Medicaid is allowed to hold those gifts and those transfers, or what you have done with your assets, against you when you go to qualify for Medicaid. If you're asking for the Medicaid benefit, the state is allowed to see what you've done with your assets in the previous 5 years. If you have done something that they don't approve of, they're allowed to assess a penalty period against you. A penalty period just simply means you're going to be denied Medicaid coverage on the basis of how much you have given away cumulatively for the previous 5 years.