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November 23, 2018

082 – Does Medicaid Take Your Loved One’s House When They Move Into an Assisted Living or a Nursing Home?

Sweet Home Sign

sign saying "Home Sweet Home" at flea market stand ** Note: Shallow depth of field

Does Medicaid take your loved one’s house when they move into an assisted living community or a nursing home?  The answer is usually no.  But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to sell it or work in some way to protect it.  Listen to the podcast to learn more about this issue – something that scares a lot of people.  And, remember, if your loved one might need Medicaid at some point in the future you should talk to an elder law attorney.

Good luck with this.




  1. Stephanie Donahoo says:

    My dad signed his house to me in Nov 2015 because I moved in to help take care of him. I sold
    My home to move in with him. He is almost beyond taking care of at home with his Parkinson’s and Dementia. He is in need of Nursing Home care now. My fear is I will be forced to sell my home. I have taking out a loan to fix it up and I am paying that loan. It is not a free and clear home now. Would this be co soldered an exception? I am in the state of KY.

    • Casey Price says:

      You definitely want to discuss this with an elder law attorney. That attorney can help you with your father’s Medicaid needs and guide you through the process to try to protect your home (which if it is yours and your father hasn’t contributed to shouldn’t be exposed to the cost of his care but, again, discuss this with the elder law attorney).

  2. FLORENCE H KNORR, R.N. says:

    I was Power of Attorney for my best friend. She was in a Nursing Home in South, New Jersey. Her husband died within 2 months of her being there & he was dead 8 days, in their house, before they found him. They had no children. She was on Medicaid. Medicaid required that her home had to be sold. Medicaid required that I could either give the money from the sale of the home to Medicaid or I could pay the Nursing Home each month. I paid the Nursing home each month as she had two elderly sisters in Germany who would have inherited the remaining money if she died before the money ran out. She outlived the money from the sale of the house by 2 months. The Nursing Home got every penny. I never took one penny as she had been my best friend since 1958. That Nursing home was very expensive over $7,000.00 a month in a skilled Unit, but she did have excellent care. It required a lot of work on my part.

    • Casey Price says:

      First, your friend was very lucky to have you in her life. You really did well for her.

      Second, thanks so for this comment and for pointing out an important distinction with regard to whether Medicaid takes your house when you move into an assisted living or nursing home.

      To be very clear, Medicaid doesn’t take the house. However, Medicaid has rules that require you to spend assets down to the asset limit before someone can qualify for Medicaid benefits. That means you might end up giving all of the money to the nursing home – like your friend ended up doing. The important take away is that Medicaid doesn’t take anything that belongs to you when you need this level of care. A lot of folks think that as soon as you move into an assisted living or nursing home you have to sign your house over to them or to Medicaid. Then, taking that idea further they think they lose the value of the house because they had to give it to the community or to Medicaid. Instead you pay for care as you go and if you end up running out of money you can apply for Medicaid benefits. On the other hand, if you pass away before you run out of money what’s left goes to your estate and ultimately your beneficiaries. I hope this makes sense to everyone. Let me know if I need to try to clarify this further. Thanks!

  3. Vicky Dry says:

    My father was on medicaid the last year of his life. He passed two years ago and a lien was put on the property he owned with his x-wife. This property was never divided with their divorce in 1986. My father left me his property, so my mother is co-owner. She now needs medical help but does not want to sell. Will I lose all monies due to me if she needs medicaid also? No saving, property value at 100.000 has been assessed by stste of WA.

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