Burgess and Sweeney Law

Baseline Date

Baseline Date

Medicaid planning is important for married couples when one spouse needs long-term
nursing home care. The first step in Medicaid planning for couples is determining the “baseline
date.” This baseline date is used in calculating the community spouse resource allowance and
the look-back period used to determine any divestment penalties.

The “baseline date,” as defined by the Department of Human Services, is the first date that
the person is a Medicaid applicant, and in long-term care. Long-term care for Medicaid purposes
is defined as, a stay at the hospital or long-term care facility for 30 consecutive days or more. It
is important for couples to realize that this baseline date does not change if Medicaid is denied or
canceled, or the patient leaves long term care or the hospital and returns home.

The initial form filed for a married couple is the “Assets Declaration.” This form requires
the values of all assets owned by the couple at the time of the baseline date. Obtaining these
values becomes difficult for couples who choose to private pay in the beginning and then need
Medicaid assistance some time later. If they have paid for several years, they will need to obtain
values from the beginning “baseline date.” Also, if a spouse needs nursing home care for
physical therapy immediately following a hospital stay, and their care is for 30 consecutive days,
their baseline date has also been established.

It is important that clients be informed of the need to retain information regarding their
assets once the “baseline date” has been established. This baseline date will affect all Medicaid
planning that is done on their behalf.

Burgess and Sweeney Law, P.C. continue to advise clients on estate planning, elder law,
Medicaid planning, probate and trust administration, guardianships and conservatorships,
business law, and real estate. As a result of the constantly changing laws in these areas, the
information provided may change. We would be pleased to discuss this, or any other issues, in
more detail.

More Posts

real estate ownership

Real Estate Ownership

The deed that a client has needs careful review to know what their ownership interest is in the property.  Their ownership interest and the timing of any transfer would have significant impact on long term care concerns.  

guardians and conservators for adults

Adult Guardianships and Conservatorships

The purpose of this article is to provide information and a general understanding of how guardians and conservators for adults are appointed. If a client, however, has a Durable Financial Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Power of Attorney, these court proceedings can be avoided.

Solely for the Benefit Trust

Solely for the Benefit Trust

The Solely for the Benefit of Spousal Trust is an irrevocable trust that preserves the assets for
the Community Spouse and distributes them to him or her over their lifetime based on the
Medicaid life expectancy tables.

Contact Us

Our Address