This is because in order to qualify for Medicaid, there is an asset limit.

However, every state has an \"estate recovery\" program in which, following death, the value of your home may be used to reimburse the state for the Medicaid funds it provided.

Although it may be your most valuable asset, owning a home will not disqualify you from receiving Medicaid.

1640.0543.03 instructs that proceeds from sale of house can be excluded from assets for up to three months while the home is being replaced. For more information on Medicaid's asset transfer rules, click here.

A Parent Who Stays at Home Can Keep Some Assets If one of your parents will go to a nursing home and the other will not, the "community spouse" (the one not going to a nursing home) is allowed to keep one-half of your parents' assets, up to a maximum set by state law. When determining eligibility, not all resources are … Generally speaking, in most states, this asset limit is $2,000. The rules are different when only one parent is applying for Medicaid.

The benefit of keeping the house is that the Medicaid payment rate is usually substantially less than the private pay rate for nursing homes. In most states, the Medicaid agency will have a lien against the house to recover what it has paid for your mother’s care when it’s sold, whether now or after she passes away.

The actual amount the nursing home must accept varies from nursing home to nursing home, so there is no general guideline. Yes, if you sell your mom’s house, she most likely will lose her Medicaid coverage.

Once your assets are exhausted and you qualify again, you can return to the Medicaid pay system. As is the case for many people who pay for nursing home care out of pocket, circumstances may force Medicaid recipients of long-term care services to sell their homes. If the individual applies for Medicaid after selling a home that would have been excluded as an asset, the three month exclusion period begins the day the individual applies for benefits. Another reason not to sell the house: If mom applies for Medicaid now, and qualifies, the nursing home will be paid the state "Medicaid reimbursement" rate, which is always a good bit lower than the private pay rate.

(To find the asset limit in your state, click here). You do not have to sell it to pay for medical care prior to receiving Medicaid. Finally, your state Medicaid agency may permit a small adjustment, for instance a reduction in the amount of the standard realtor’s fee in your state if that is being avoided by a "friendly" sale. Selling Your Home Selling a home with a professional seller’s agent can help you financially, but it will also move you back into the private pay tier at your care facility.

Although rules determining the recipient’s share of long-term care costs allow income to be set aside for home maintenance expenses for a period of time, the amount of these allowances may be limited at state option. Assets That Can Be Transferred Without Penalty.

Last Modified: 08/07/2018

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