Many seniors wonder how to best protect their home. This risk comes up because their health declines and they need medical care in an assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility. At this stage, they could be pursuing Medicaid benefits to help pay for their care.
Fortunately, the Medicaid rules allow them to keep their home. But, there two traps that seniors need to avoid. The most important is preventing the State of Michigan from the home to be sold and recovering the cost of the senior’s care when the senior passes. This is known as Michigan’s “Estate Recovery Program.” The other trap is that there aren’t enough funds to pay for the cost of the home and this financial distress causes the sale. Medicaid only allows a single person to have $2,000 in countable assets to be eligible and virtually all of the senior’s income will pay for their care in the nursing home. With these financial constraints, seniors almost inevitably run out of resources to keep up their home and feel pressure to sell the home (with the proceeds making the senior ineligible for Medicaid and forcing them to be spent down).
There are many things that need to be balanced when protecting a senior’s home. Stay tuned for future articles on the best ways to best protect the home.