If I Give Assets Away, Am I Still Eligible For Medicaid?
Medicaid is a health insurance program in the U.S. that gives health care to those who qualify and for those who cannot pay for their medical expenses.
What Medicaid Covers
Medicaid coverage covers doctor visits, hospital stays, prenatal care, emergency room visits, prescription drugs and other medical treatments. Medicaid is program that is funded by federal and state governments.
Health Insurance Premium Payment
In addition, many states in the U.S. also have a program that is called the Health Insurance Premium Payment Program (HIPP). This plan allows those who are receiving Medicaid benefits to also have health insurance plans that are paid for by Medicaid. With this coverage, Medicaid recipients will usually receive better coverage and with it, a larger more expansive network of health care providers. The question, if I give assets away, am I still eligible for Medicaid, can be answered from HIPP.
Giving Away Assets
If you give away or transfer property or assets, your Medicaid eligibility for long term care may be ended. This is what is known as a penalty period. The penalty will begin depending on when you made the transfer. In addition, some transfer of assets will disqualify you from getting Medicaid. It is the value of the assets that will determine how long you will be disqualified. It often depends on who receives the assets, while other times it depends on the type of property you are transferring. Often, if you transfer property and such to a spouse or child you will not be penalized but before putting this action into motion, check with your social services office.
In addition, if you give assets away and are on Medicaid and live in a nursing facility, there is a Medicaid penalty for any gift or transfer that is made concerning property—property that is given or transferred three years before entering a nursing home or when applying for Medicaid. Also, if you take your name or co-owner’s name off of the deed, it will be considered a transfer and such a transfer may be penalized under the rules and regulations of the Medicaid program. There may also be tax consequences if you give assets away, such as your home. This would result in a gift tax.
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