Understanding Medicaid Home and Community Services: A Primer, 2010 Edition. Asset/Resource Transfers: Permissions and Penalties


Federal law imposes a penalty on persons who give away savings or transfer ownership of their assets for less than fair market value (termed uncompensated transfers) in order to meet Medicaid’s financial eligibility criteria. The penalty applies to all eligibility groups in all states.35 The purpose of the penalty is to preclude the payment of benefits to individuals who can afford to pay for them. States must apply this penalty to people seeking Medicaid coverage for nursing homes, other institutions, and HCBS waiver programs for individuals eligible under what are known as “institutional” rules. The penalty is mandatory for individuals in institutions and those eligible for HCBS waivers under institutional rules, but is optional for those eligible under community rules.

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