A Medicaid look-back period relates to how far back the state of New Hampshire can look at your financial records to determine whether you're financially eligible for Medicaid nursing facility benefits.
There is a five-year look-back, that means that five years’ worth of financial records have to be submitted as part of a Medicaid application. What they're looking for in these five years’ worth of records, primarily, is to see if you gave your money away within the prior five years. If you have given money away, the presumption is that you gave money away just to get on Medicaid, to make yourself Medicaid eligible. That's the presumption and they'll consider that to be possibly disqualifying you for Medicaid.
So, the general concept is because Medicaid is a welfare program based on financial need, if you've given your money away, you could have used that money to pay for your own care. And so they're going to say “Did you give your money away?” And that's what the look-back is.
When we search through financial records to determine this, we then determine whether any of the transfers of assets, gifts, were legitimate under the Medicaid rules or whether there are some exceptions that might apply.