What is the Medicaid “look back

When you apply for Medicaid for long-term care in either a nursing home or in the community, you are required to provide financial records for the past five years.  This is called the "look back" period.

Before being approved for Medicaid, the Connecticut Department of Social Services (they manage Medicaid) asks you to show five years of financial statements for all accounts including checking, savings, money market, stocks, bonds, CDs, retirement accounts, annuities, trusts, cash value in life insurance policies, and others.


Because the State of Connecticut doesn’t want you to simply give away all of your assets and say “Look at me, Medicaid! I’m broke and need your assistance.”

The general rule of thumb is, you can spend your money on your own care and comfort, but you can't give it away to qualify for Medicaid.

For example, using your money to purchase a more reliable car, prepaying funeral expenses, or for home repairs would be considered acceptable.

But, if you transferred ownership of your home to your child within the past five years, that would disqualify you from being eligible for Medicaid for a certain period of time or "penalty period."

Medicaid is designed to pay for long-term care once you run out of money. You are expected to use your savings to pay for your care. Once your savings are gone, then Medicaid will kick in.

However, you can protect some of your money by gifting to loved ones, but understand that Medicaid will penalize you for any gifts or transfers of assets made 5 years from the date of your Medicaid application.

To learn about what strategies may be available to you to protect your assets, contact us to learn more about your options.

Related information:

Client Reviews
“I cannot find the words to thank all of you properly for your hard work and perseverance. It is a great relief to have gotten a just and proper ruling from the court. All of you have shown great professionalism and concern for the issues I brought before you.” J.G., Greensboro, GA
“All dealings have been excellent. Very professional organization. Great explanations of our options related to preparing a will. Clear, concise, great guidance and not trying to "sell us" on something we do not need. Administrative folks were super. All of our related paperwork was clearly tagged with what we needed to provide/sign/read /etc. Made things easy. Nice work.” L.G., Berlin, CT
“We loved working with your firm and really trust the advice. You have a well-deserved reputation and it was nice to check off a number of things that had been on our To-Do list. Although it's hard to make the time to take care of some of these matters, it is a great relief when you do so. I would definitely recommend your firm to anyone in need of the services that you provide.” L.M., Simsbury, CT
Everyone at the firm were consummate professionals. We felt completely comfortable with their guidance and were impressed by their compassion and commitment to us. R.H., Canton, CT
The attorney who served us was kind, thorough, and very responsive. He pointed out some issues in my mother's documents that could have been problematic down the road. After my mother passed, everything was as seamless as possible - a true gift at a time when life and death decisions were being made and emotions were overwhelming. J.B., Cromwell, CT
Great service, was on top of everything. I'm glad they were there to help us though a tough time. J.M., Farmington, CT
Members of: