Medicaid coming after the house

My mother died in a nursing home at the age of 76.  She had been there for about five years.  When she died, Medicaid sent a letter saying when dad died they were coming after his house. Mom was not even on the deed. Can they really do that?

Home Not So Sweet Home

Dear Home Not So Sweet Home,

Yes, Medicaid can come after the property in order to repay the money it spent on your mother’s care.  As long as she was legally married to your father, then it does not matter whether she was listed on the deed.

They cannot kick your father out of the house or take more money than they spent on her nursing home or other care.  After he dies, they also cannot force you to sell the house; they can however pursue being repaid by the estate.  If you wanted to keep the house, you could repay Medicaid from other funds (say, from any life insurance your father has).

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.