Home Sweet Home – Equity Limit For Medicaid Increased For 2024

Home Sweet Home – Equity Limit For Medicaid Increased For 2024

As of January 1, 2024, the homestead equity limit for a Medicaid applicant who is not married and who either applies for the nursing home Medicaid program or “waiver” home care Medicaid program will increase to $713,000 ($688,000 in year 2023). Thus, if the home equity (the difference between the appraised value and any debts owed secured by the home) limit is less than that, it is a non-countable resource in determining Medicaid eligibility (which is means-tested). As a result, the vast majority of Texans who have a home and apply for one of those Medicaid programs will not have their home count as a resource as long as there is an intent to return home. There is an unlimited equity limit if the Medicaid recipient is married (so even a home with an equity of $800,000 would not count as a resource if married).

However, although the home is usually a non-countable resource, the government has a right to make a claim against the home (commonly referred to as “estate recovery”) after the death of the Medicaid recipient to the extent Medicaid benefits were advanced if the home passes by will or intestacy (no will).  A successful claim for Medicaid estate recovery is avoided if (1) the Medicaid recipient is survived by his or her spouse;  (2) the Medicaid recipient is survived by his or her child who is under 21; (3) the Medicaid recipient’s child of any age is blind or disabled under the Social Security requirements; (4) the Medicaid recipient has an unmarried adult child who has lived full time in the home for at least 1-year prior to the death of the Medicaid recipient; (5) there is a demonstrative hardship for the beneficiaries; (6) the decedent was an American Indian, Alaska Native, or had retained government reparation payments at the time of death; or (7) the cost of selling the property is more than it is worth.

There are also options such as enhanced life estate deeds (also known as Ladybird Deeds), transfer on death deeds, using exceptions to the transfer penalty rules, etc. that can avoid a successful claim by the state for Medicaid benefits advanced. It should be noted that even if the Medicaid applicant’s equity limit exceeds the threshold, creative options can sometimes be taken (i.e., increasing debt and purchasing non-countable resources).

If interested in learning more about this article or other estate planning, Medicaid and public benefits planning, probate, etc., attend one of our free upcoming Estate Planning Essentials workshops by clicking here or calling 214-720-0102. We make it simple to attend and it is without obligation.

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