Does Medicaid repayment have time limit?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 18, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My father was in long-term care with support of Medicaid for some 2.5 yrs and passed away 13 yrs ago. My mother, his surviving spouse, passed away in 2012. What impact does the time gap have on repayment to Medicaid, if any? Their home was transferred to my mom's name a month before he died, but after he had already received Medicaid coverage for some 2.5 yrs. Must the house be sold to repay Medicaid? How long do we have to repay?

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

Looking at your case from a practical point of view, if you have not heard from Medicaid after 13 years, there is no need to worry about estate recovery. In addition, since your mother owned the house before your father died and there was no lien on it, the state has no claim to the property. If there was a lien on it or any kind of estate recovery, your mother would have been notified. It is always wise to transfer the house to the community spouse, even after applying for Medicaid for the other spouse. Once the other spouse has been approved for Medicaid, the house can be sold and the community spouse can keep the proceeds.