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Can my parents protect their home from a Medicaid lien?

I'm desperate for advice on a question regarding a matter concerning Medicaid. My mother receives Medicaid in Oregon and will be having open heart surgery for aortic valve stenosis in two weeks. She and my father own our family home. Is it too late for her to do something to protect the home so Medicaid doesn't put a lean on the home if they were to sell at some point? After my mom's surgery is there a given amount of time before Medicaid notifies you of a lien on the property? Can you make legal changes to protect the home after a surgery like my mom's?

Status: Open    Apr 26, 2016 - 03:31 PM


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Expert Answers

Apr 28, 2016 - 08:21 AM

I would highly recommend you consult with an elder law attorney in Oregon. These types of issues are complex and very fact specific. If you are talking about trying to preserve the family home that would be well-worth a consultation fee. Typically, when someone is already receiving a benefit like Medicaid, it is often too late to do effective planning. However, there may be some steps to take or protections that are already in place that may give you all some comfort and peace of mind.

Apr 28, 2016 - 08:24 AM

You should consult with a qualified elder law attorney in Oregon in order to determine what steps may be taken in order to protect the family home.

Apr 29, 2016 - 08:43 AM

Generally, if the home is sold, it will be considered an available asset and could disqualify your mother from Medicaid. Additionally, if the home is retained, then a lien would be placed on the home at the death of the Medicaid recipient. It is usually a better decision not to sell the home, as you may then be paying the private rate for NH care, and this would deplete your resources to a greater extent than would a lien at death for services provided through Medicaid.

You should consult a local Elder Law attorney before you make any decisions.

May 11, 2016 - 08:22 AM

This is a complex question and you really should get the advice of an elder law attorney who also does Medicaid work. Generally if your mother requires long-term care in a nursing home but your father does not Medicaid would not place a lien on the home. If she does not require nursing home care after the surgery the elder law attorney could advise you and your parents on ways to protect the home and other assets.
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