If wife transfers house to me, then goes into a nursing home, will she obtain Medicaid?

Q: If my wife transfers her house to me, is that a disqualifying transfer under Medicaid in Pennsylvania? I was told that if my wife goes into a nursing home and then immediately transfers her home to me (the house is in her name only), then she can still qualify for Medicaid – is this true? Isn’t there a 5-year look back period? I was also told that the look back period was eliminated.

A: Transfers between spouses generally¬†don’t trigger penalties. The five year look back is alive and well. A spouse’s principal residence is an exempt resource. The PA Department of Public Welfare and Medicaid rules are complicated and if you have assets worthy of preserving, doing this alone without the assistance of an attorney can end up costing you. Consult an elder law attorney to make sense of all of this.