18As an experienced Rochester Elder Law Attorney I am frequently asked about the Medicaid penalty period. What happens is there’s a penalty period and many people have heard about this during this if you transfer assets. Basically, assets that are transferred for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid may result in a penalty period. What we don’t advise people on is hiding assets or lying on applications. That’s all illegal. There are many legal ways to qualify for Medicaid. People that do make gifts – people say, “Can I sell my house to my son for $1.00?” That’s considered a gift. If you’re making any transfers and you’re not getting market value back for it – if you have a half million-dollar house and you sell it to your kids for $50,000, that’s a $450,000 gift just as if you handed them that cash. Gifts that are made in the past 5 years may results in a penalty period.
If you’ve made gifts of $96,000 or more over the past 5 years either in giving away property or money, the rate for Western New York in how they determine this penalty is the average cost of nursing home care is $9,630. If you gave away $96,000 over the past 5 years, you will be disqualified from Medicaid for 10 months, which means that you will have to privately pay during that period whether or not you have the money available. That’s how they figure out the penalty period.
Do you have questions regarding the Medicaid penalty period? If so, contact skilled Rochester Elder Law Attorney Robert Friedman for guidance.