Can Medicaid take a house to pay for nursing home care?

Delite asked...

My mother is in a nursing home but still owns a condo that I live in. When she dies, can Medicaid take her home since they have been paying so much on her behalf for the last 4-6 years?

Expert Answer

Medicaid has a right to be reimbursed for all it has spent to care for your mother in the nursing home, and that reimbursement can come from the value of her home -- the condominium -- when your mother dies. So, Medicaid will not "take" the condominium, but they can and probably will seek repayment of the money they have spent caring for your mother in the nursing home. They usually begin this process by placing a lien on the property. If you (and any other heirs to your mother's property) sell the condo after your mother is gone, the lien requires that the money owed to Medicaid be paid off first. If you do not want to sell the condo after your mother dies, you may have to take out a new mortgage on the property in order to pay off your mother's debt to Medicaid for their nursing home payments on her behalf.

To find out the specific Medicaid reimbursement and property lien rules and procedures for the state where you live, use any Internet search engine and enter the words Medicaid and the name of the state, which will take you to the official web site of your state's Medicaid program, or go to theĀ Benefits.gov web site and click on the name of your state. You can also call the Eldercare Locator toll-free at 800-677-1116 and ask for the number of the Medicaid program in your state.