FAQ What is Medicaid? Medicaid, Medical Assistance is Pennsylvania, is a joint state and federal program that offers health care coverage, including coverage for long-term care services to individuals whose income and assets are insufficient to meet the costs of necessary medical services. For applicants receiving skilled nursing level care in a nursing facility, individuals (and spouses) must have assets that fall within Pennsylvania standards. What if my loved one is already in a nursing home? Loved ones currently receiving care in a nursing home can plan immediately to protect assets and qualify for Medicaid as soon as possible. Should I give my assets away to our children to qualify for Medicaid? Gifting and uncompensated transfers of assets within 5 years of applying for Medicaid causes a penalty period during which Medicaid does not pay for care. Applicants in preparation for entering a nursing home will “sell” their house to their children for $1.00; however Medicaid will view this transaction as a transfer for less than fair market value. Can I be held liable for mom and dad’s nursing home bills? According to the Pittas v. Healthcare and Retirement Corporation of America, where a son was held liable for mom’s $93,000.00 nursing home bill, children and spouses can be held liable for unpaid medical expenses. Effective planning considers these risks and protects families from medical costs.