Since an individual applying for Medi-Cal can’t qualify for Medi-Cal to pay for skilled nursing home care if they own non-exempt assets exceeding $2,000, many persons are tempted to simply “gift away” the excess. The “look back rule” provides that if a person makes gifts of assets within a certain period of time prior to applying for Medi-Cal and hopes thereby to qualify for Medi-Cal, they are denied Medi-Cal for some period of time based upon a mathematical formula.
The period of the look back rule as currently applied in California is 30 months, however, as soon as impending regulations go into effect (expected to be January of 2012) it will be 5 years.
There are many exceptions to the look back rules.
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