How do I protect both my parents and my interest in a home with the Oregon Medicaid program? -

How do I protect both my parents and my interest in a home with the Oregon Medicaid program?


My mother lives in Oregon and has now qualified for home care through medicaid to prevent her from going into a nursing home. She and my dad own a home. I have moved in to take care of her and will be paid by medicaid to care for her in her home. Can I buy the house contract for deed at market value with a down payment with out causing them to be disqualified for medicaid or risk the chance of medicaid placing a lien on the house if one of my parents end up in a long care facility? Also can they place a lien on the house for my wages that I'm being paid? Thanks in advance.

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I agree with retaining an estate lawyer. It's too complex for you to handle.
Helpful Answer (1)

Another way to find an Elder Law attorney in your State.... go to the blue bar near the top of the page, on the far right you will see MONEY & LEGAL, click on that.... now click on Elder Law.... now you will see a box where you type in a zip code.

That is how I found the Elder Law attorney that my sig other and I used, and that my parents had used. She was outstanding :)
Helpful Answer (3)

NO if you buy the house, the Medicaid will stop until the money is spent down. If you want the house, don't go on Medicaid. Everything Medicaid spent, including more than just your wages, will be recovered from the estate.
The house is put up for sale, you will bid against any other interested parties.
Helpful Answer (2)

Bones - so many issues..... the costs of participation in any Medicaid program for those over 55 (& NOT just Medicaids LTC NH program) can subject to estate recovery (MERP or MERS) on their assets after death. So in-home care, PACE, Mental health costs can be included in recovery. It could well be that the ability for your state to place a lien on the property has ALREADY happened as your parents have already applied & have been made eligible & are getting Medicaid paid for services. Oregons laws & rules or administrative code on property rights, probate as well as medicaid rules are all going to play into what can & will be done. All the states are required to have in place a merp recovery program to get the federal funding aspect of Medicaid.

The nuances of your states laws will be central in all this & this is why you read over & over on AC that you need an atty. Like for example - for TX recovery- it is a probatable claim against the estate & NOT a lien. TX probate is a level of claim state and MERP is a class 7 claim. It essentially is a creditor against the assets of the estate which is required by probate laws to settle claims in classes 1- 6 first in probate. Probate administration for TX allows a good bit of latitude by the executor in dealing with claims against the estate over the 4 years that probate can be opened. Due to this, TX recovery via probate is lower than it would be in a state where all claims are equal. Really unless you are an probate & elder law atty yourself, you need an Oregon atty.

Within all states MERP there are exemptions & exclusions to recovery. Your states Medicaid program should have details on those. One exemption is for caregivers who provide full time caregiving for a specific period of time (usually 2 yrs) which keeps the elder out of a facility & off of Medicaid during this period of time. BUT if in fact, your folks are on Medicaid & you are getting paid by medicaid to caregive that exemption may not work as the exemption is about keeping them OFF of Medicaid. This is something to clearly find out about from your atty. It could maybe be low-income heir that is the exemption that needs to be pursued by you. If there are other heirs besides you as per your parents wills, they all will need to do their own exemptions or exclusions as well.

About attys, as your folks have already applied for Medicaid, any changes in their status is going to be lot, lots more complicated. I'd suggest they get a NAELA certified atty. NAELA should have a list by state.

About buying the house, if the current tax assessor value is not accurate for worth, I'd highly suggest you get an appraisal done. It should be done by a certified & registered for your state appraiser. Comps done by a Realtor -although these are great -aren't legal for placing value on property. Also the contract to buy the house needs to be valid & that usually means a payment over time contract needs to be within actuarial tables for the sale to be completed & with interest. if your folks are already up in age, doing this type of contract may not work.

Also please, please look at the costs on the house. Can you afford to pay for all costs on it? Right now your folks are likely getting all types of reductions. That tax bill of $ 800.00 yr for your parents could become a $ 2,800.00 tax bill for you.

Any change in their income or assets has to be reported & requires a review of eligibility by Medicaid. If you buy their home, those $ paid by the sale & by monthly payments will change their income & assets. It could well make them ineligible for Medicaid & they must disclose any changes to Medicaid. Really situations like this are not a DIY project & is something to clearly discuss with the NAELA atty as to feasibility. good luck.
Helpful Answer (4)

How do you find the right Lawyer to answer this question.. My present lawyer told me to contact the state Medicaid office. I only received vague answers.
Helpful Answer (1)

Bones, you need to discuss this with a lawyer who specializes in Elder Law. He or she will be very familiar with how Medicaid is administered in Oregon.

The state is mandated to recover some of its Medicaid costs after the death of the recipient and spouse. Their are exceptions, and one of those is allowing the house to pass to a relative who has cared for the recipent for a certain amount of time (two years, I think).

A house is a Big Deal and nothing to practice do-it-yourself guesswork on. The cost of consulting a specialist who knows the rules before you do anything permanent and perhaps regrettable such as buying their house now will be well worth it.
Helpful Answer (3)

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