Mom and I bought a home 15 years ago. The house's mortgage is on my name and she and I are on the deed. She is on late stage 6 dementia and it is becoming very difficult to care for her at home. My brother and I are considering a memory care facility/nursing home. She currently has Medicare and Medicaid and we were wondering

A) if we sell the house, will she lose her benefits due to 50k in equity?

B) If we choose a Memory Care facility/Nursing Home with Medicaid Benefits, can Medicaid come after the house after she passes?

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You & mom will need to get with an experienced elder law atty as unthreading property ownership and determining her share of property related cost that probably/hopefully she owes you will not be simple; plus it sounds like she will be needing to transition to care in a facility and if anything needs to change / get filed, it needs to be done imo ahead of ever filing her Medicaid application and done so that it’s compliant for LTC Medicaid eligibility review. Not a DIY. Needs atty imo.

So your mom - right now - is on community based Medicaid?
Ok so when did she go onto Medicaid, like years & years ago as she was low income since forever so eligible? Or is her Medicaid recent?
The answer will make a difference as to what her recoverable Medicaid tally will already be. If she went onto Medicaid before 2006 - 2009, then it was likely before Medicaid recovery was required to be attempted by your state for anyone applying for Medicaid over age 55. When your state adapted DRA - 2005 (Bush era federal Deficit Reduction Act), will be key as to when it happened for your states Medicaid program. If she went onto Medicaid after DRA, right now she already has a Medicaid tally that is owed to the state. It’s possibly a smallish amount as it’s mainly her doctor & RX medicaid copays. But if she’s had hospitalizations and lots of out patient care, it could be a pretty good amount she already owes for whatever Medicaid has paid for her through the community based Medicaid she is on.

I’m gonna guess that this lit factoid comes as a surprise to you. That your blindsided by this. Yeah that’s right, Medicaid recoup or Estate Recovery isn’t just for care paid for in a NH. But any care Medicaid paid for if they applied after age 55 and after DRA placed into your states administrative code.

Really before you meet with atty try to pull together an excel file of all property costs - in detail - for past years. Trying to establish that there is a debt owed to you will need documentation. It will not be simple. The way you described ownership, has house as 50% hers as recorded at the courthouse. So if it gets sold, she is due 50% of the proceeds of the sale, and will be known to the state to the penny. So say sold for 130k means 65k as “income” to her month of the sale & becomes an “asset” of hers afterwards and keeps her from being eligible for Medicaid till she’s down to 2k in assets for most states individual widow or widower LTC Medicaid program. It will also kick her off community based Medicaid. Really find experienced atty to see what her options might possibly be at this late start for Medicaid planning. Good luck and let us know what’s suggested for your situation. We do all learn from each other.
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