No, Medicaid will not take your home. Medicaid will also not force a spouse to move out of the house.
Additionally, Medicaid can't force you to sell your house as part of asset allocation, as long as you're specific on the application that a nursing home patient intends to return home.
Medicaid May Have a Future Claim on the Home
While Medicaid won't force the sale of the home if a nursing home resident intends to return to it eventually, the agency—known as MassHealth in Massachusetts—can put a lien against the house. The lien can cover all of the nursing home care that was paid for by the agency. When the property is sold, MassHealth can seek payment on that lien.
In some cases, the agency may also be able to recover money for its payments from the nursing home resident’s estate after that resident passes away.
Protect Your Home Before Entering a Care Facility
There are different ways to protect your home for yourself and family. For example, you may be able to:
- Gift your home. Typically, this must be done at least five years in advance of entering a nursing home in order to avoid financial penalties.
- Create a trust. Various types of trusts may be lawfully used to protect a home when someone enters a care facility.
- Transfer ownership during occupancy. This strategy, often implemented through an estate planning tool known as Lady Bird Deed, allows you to transfer ownership of your home to descendants while retaining the right to live in or even to sell the home during your lifetime.
To find out more about your rights of asset protection and the options that best suit your needs, please contact Attorney Michael Monteforte, Jr. today.