How does Medicaid assess a jointly owned home in New York?

In New York, Medicaid assesses a jointly owned home by considering the applicant's interest in the property. If the home is the primary residence of the Medicaid applicant and is jointly owned, Medicaid generally does not "take" the home, but the value of the applicant's share could be subject to estate recovery after their death, unless there are surviving exempt relatives or co-owners under certain conditions. jointly owned house

What is estate recovery and how does it relate to a jointly owned home?

Estate recovery is the process by which Medicaid seeks reimbursement for the costs of care provided to a deceased beneficiary. In New York, estate recovery can be claimed against the estate of the deceased, including their interest in a jointly owned home, unless exempted by law.

Can Medicaid force the sale of a jointly owned home to pay for care?

Medicaid cannot force the sale of a jointly owned home if one of the owners still resides in it. However, the value of the deceased owner’s share might be subject to claims through estate recovery, depending on the structure of ownership and other factors.

Are there protections for spouses or other co-owners?

Yes, in New York, if a spouse, a minor child, or a disabled child resides in the home, Medicaid cannot place a lien on the home, and it is exempt from estate recovery. Other co-owners might not be protected unless they meet specific criteria, such as having lived in the home for a certain period and provided care.

How does the type of joint ownership affect Medicaid's claim?

The type of joint ownership impacts how Medicaid treats the property. For example, if the property is owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, the deceased's share automatically passes to the surviving owner(s), potentially outside of estate recovery. However, if the ownership is as tenants in common, the deceased’s share is part of their estate and subject to claims.

What can be done to protect a jointly owned home from Medicaid claims?

Planning options might include changing the type of joint ownership, setting up a life estate, or using a trust. These strategies can help protect the home from being subject to estate recovery but require careful planning and legal advice to ensure compliance with Medicaid rules.

Does transferring ownership of the home affect Medicaid eligibility?

Yes, improperly transferring a home can affect Medicaid eligibility due to the five-year look-back period. Transfers need to be planned and executed within Medicaid guidelines to avoid penalties.

What steps should be taken if I'm considering Medicaid and own a home jointly?

Consult with an elder law attorney or a Medicaid planning specialist who understands New York’s specific rules and can advise on the best strategies for protecting assets while ensuring Medicaid eligibility.

Can a lien be placed on a jointly owned property if only one owner received Medicaid benefits?

A lien can be placed on the interest of the Medicaid recipient in a jointly owned property during their lifetime if they are permanently placed in a nursing home and are not expected to return home. However, the lien cannot be enforced as long as there is a surviving joint owner living in the property.

10. What happens if I receive Medicaid benefits and later acquire a home jointly? - Answer: Acquiring a home while receiving Medicaid benefits can affect your eligibility and may lead to different implications for estate recovery. It's crucial to discuss any changes in asset status with a Medicaid advisor to understand the impact on your benefits.