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Will my friend need to sell her house to pay for nursing care?

My friend does not have enough income to pay for her nursing home care. My friend does not have enough income from retirement, social security and rental income from her home. Will she have to sell the home to pay for any balance due at the end of each month?

Status: Open    Feb 20, 2015 - 08:48 AM


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6 answers

Expert Answers

Feb 02, 2016 - 09:44 AM

There are pros and cons when evaluating if a house needs to be sold in order to pay for care. Sometimes it is recommended. If she really just wants a little extra income, I have had experience with renting the house to make up for the shortfall to cover the assisted living.
Renting can sometimes cause it own problems and expenses. It is something to consider.

Feb 02, 2016 - 09:47 AM

Your friend can get Medicaid benefits even if she owns a home (in Ohio) as long as her other assets are spent down to $1500. The home remains exempt for 13 months and then needs to be sold. Once it is sold, then the funds will be used to pay for her care until she is spent down again.

Feb 02, 2016 - 10:02 AM

It depends on the state where she lives and whether she is receiving Medicaid. You should have her contact a local elder law attorney for a consultation because different states treat rental property differently.

Feb 02, 2016 - 02:25 PM

If your friend lives in California, the home is an exempt asset and can be transferred at any time without incurring a period of ineligibility for Medi-Cal (providing you check the box on the application she intends to return home). You should meet with an elder law attorney for the transfer so you can minimize the possibility of capital gains.

Feb 03, 2016 - 08:40 AM

A home may need to be sold to pay for care if someone is trying to get on Medicaid, and then use those funds to pay for care until the allowable exempted amounts exist for Medicaid to kick in and continue paying.

APFM Staff Answers

Feb 20, 2015 - 12:42 PM

The first question is does she really needs skilled nursing?
Assisted living options can frequently handle more than most folks think.
If she can qualify by health standards to live in assisted living, there are options that could pontentially save her a lot of money.

If she will not qualify for assisted living, then as I understand it, she could potentially qualify for Public Pay / Medicaid skilled nursing even before her home is sold. The government would then put a lien on any property so that when the proprty does sell, they will get reimbursed on the amount they have already laid out towards her care to that date. The government does do a five year look back on all assets before approving Public Pay.

I hope this is helpful but certainly a Medicaid legal expert should be consulted for personal details and options.
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