The Listen to Lawrence Letter: If I go on Medicaid, will the house I share with my sister be in jeopardy?

July 14, 2023
July 13, 2023 • Volume 4 Issue 155
A Medicaid look-back exception…read on:


I have a question about my home. My sister and I both have our names on the deed. If I make a Medicaid application and go into a nursing home long-term, could Medicaid take and sell my house or is my sister able to continue to live in the house?


Usually, when you have to go to a nursing home, Medicaid will put a lien on your house until the equity is gone. When the house is sold, the lien must be repaid in full. Also, usually, if you transfer your house out of your name at the last second, you will not be eligible for Medicaid for a period of time because of the 5-year look-back.

Good News! There are exceptions to the five-year look-back. One of those exceptions is that you can transfer the house to a sibling who lives in the house with you (for at least the last year) and has an equity interest in the home. Since you and your sister live together and she is on the deed, you can transfer the house to her at the last minute, with no lookback or penalty problems.

Woo hoo!

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