Do I Need to Sell My Home to Be Medicaid Eligible?
Medicaid eligibility requirements are stringent in regards to assets and income. As an experienced Florida Medicaid planning attorney, one of the most frequent questions I hear is if clients need to sell their home to qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Do I Need to Sell My Home To Qualify for Medicaid Benefits?
The question is not a difficult one, but it also does not have a straightforward answer. There are multiple answers, depending on your situation.
- When your home is your primary residence, it is a non-countable asset as long as certain conditions are met. The amount of equity in the home must fall within specified limits (as of January 2019, the amount is $585,000). The home equity rule does not apply if the Medicaid applicant’s spouse resides in the home (and is not a Medicaid applicant). As long as the applicant’s spouse lives in the house, the property is exempt for Florida Medicaid eligibility purposes. The same is true if the Medicaid applicant’s child (under the age of 21) resides in the home or the Medicaid applicant’s blind or disabled child (of any age) lives in the home.
- When the equity in the home exceeds the limit, and none of the other situations noted above apply, applicants should discuss other options with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney. For instance, in some cases, an applicant could take out a small mortgage on the property, essentially drawing equity out of the house to bring it back under Florida Medicaid equity limits.
- When the applicant/homeowner is in an assisted living facility or nursing home, and they have an intent to return to the home as their primary residence, Florida Medicaid application specialists will not usually challenge the assertion even when a return is not likely in reality.
- When the applicant/homeowner is in an assisted living facility/nursing home, and has exhibited signs of NOT wanting to return to the home as a primary residence such as placing the home for sale or rent, then the house will be deemed a countable asset by Medicaid application specialists.
If you have questions about how to manage homeownership and Florida Medicaid eligibility, please don’t hesitate. The experienced Medicaid Planning attorneys at The Elder Solutions Law Firm, P.A. can help.