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My question is regarding application for Medicaid for nursing home care. I've heard that there's a "look back" period. What is the "look back" period? How long is it?

Medicaid ensures health care, including nursing home stays, for the poor.

The "look back" period is part of the process for determining Medicaid eligibility. It refers to the length of time during which "gifts made by an applicant are counted against their eligibility," said Molly Wood, a Lawrence attorney who specializes in elder law.

It's designed to prevent people from giving away their assets - to their sons and daughters, usually - in an effort to appear poorer than they are.

As of Feb. 8, the "look back" period in all 50 states is five years, Wood said.

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