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Eligibility for Medicaid as a homeowner

Many Colorado residents may wonder if they are eligible for Medicaid if they own a home. The eligibility standards for Medicaid are specific, and certain assets are used to determine eligibility. An individual who applies for Medicaid is required to list their assets and provide documentation.

Assets that are not considered when Medicaid eligibility is determinedinclude a single motor vehicle, life insurance under $1,500 and personal and household property. In addition, an individual's primary residence is not included. However, whether the applicant is eligible for extended care services, such as a nursing home, is affected by the value of the residence.

The home's equity value is the value of the home when it is sold minus any debt associated with it. However, the interest an individual has in the home depends on if it is owned solely or jointly. In 2013, the maximum equity interest an individual could have in the home and still qualify for long-term care under Medicaid was $536,000. If the home was owned jointly, the equity interest that an individual would have in a home with $536,000 in equity would be half that amount. In addition, some states have modified the equity interest upward due to high housing costs. The value is also inflation adjusted.

Assets that are taken into account for the purposes of determining eligibility are bank accounts, property that is not the primary residence, stock, bonds, certificates of deposit and other tangible property. Because exclusions for disabled spouses or children and certain trusts exist, it may be beneficial for an applicant to seek the advice and counsel of an attorney who has experience in elder law matters.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Financial Requirements — Assets", December 14, 2014

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