Medicaid spend down may affect my ability to live in the house my father owns.
I have been taking care of my dad for the past 4 years. I can no longer able to take care of him anymore. I am looking for a nursing home for him, but, I need to place to live. I thought that the house would be mine after he died. I have learned that the state may look at is a an asset and the nursing home may put a lien against it for future payment.
Medicaid spend down is the process when a person, in order to qualify for state medical assistance, has too much money to qualify for a state Medicaid program. The asset-recovery part of Medicaid, was enacted in 1993 by Congress as a response to rising Medicaid costs.
Each individual State is compelled to attempt to recover costs from the estates of the deceased who used the program for long-term care. This is called ‘estate recovery”. This is done via liens placed on the deceased person’s home or claims on their other assets.
More on Medicaid Spend Down…
I talk to family members everyday about the need to investigate Medicaid Asset Protection.
There are many different rules and regulations on home ownership and family caregivers living in the residence. It is important that you seek the advice of an elder care attorney to learn about the laws regarding your specific State.
I do recommend that any time a family caregiver moves into the home of the aging parents, it is time to seek legal counsel. Every state has a “look back” period, it could be 5 to 7 years. This “look back” period will increase as the aging population puts more of a strain on the States Medicaid budgets. The earlier you address the ownership of the home, and look into the various options, such as a “life estate” or “trusts” the better your chances of saving the home from Medicaid estate recovery efforts.