You or a loved one was just approved to receive nursing home Medicaid? This is great news, as nursing home Medicaid covers all or a significant portion of the costs of nursing home care for those who have a medical need for such care. But the approval for nursing home Medicaid does not end the planning. In many cases, additional planning is required to protect assets from the claims of Medicaid who has paid for nursing home care.
There are income and asset requirements to receive nursing home Medicaid. There are several assets that are considered exempt and do not count against a Medicaid recipient for purposes of obtaining Medicaid benefits. One of the largest excluded assets for most Medicaid applicants is their home. Medicaid excludes the ownership of a residence up to a specified amount of equity. While the house is excluded from counting towards qualification for Medicaid, it does not prevent Medicaid from placing a lien on the property when the Medicaid applicant dies. Medicaid can place a lien on real property for the value of Medicaid services provided while the Medicaid recipient was over the age of 65.
We often see cases in which people apply for nursing home Medicaid and immediately are awarded benefits because the only significant asset owned is a residence. Without proper planning, all or a significant amount of the value of the residence will be lost to a Medicaid lien. Proper planning can conserve some, if not all of the value of a personal residence from a Medicaid lien. Medicaid planning can require the balancing of many different criteria, so the services of an experienced elder law attorney are recommended.