Will Medicaid Know if I Sell My House in North Carolina?

Many North Carolina residents ask us, “If I sell my house, will Medicaid know about it?” The answer is yes.  In North Carolina, Medicaid programs must follow federal guidelines, but they vary greatly from state to state.

When you apply for Medicaid, the program considers your income and assets to determine eligibility. Medicaid has strict asset limits – an individual’s resources must be below $2,000 ($3,000 for a married couple) in order to qualify for long-term skilled nursing Medicaid.  As a general rule, your primary residence does not count towards that asset limit.  If you sell your house, however, you have turned a noncountable asset into a countable asset, thus negatively impacting your eligibility.

It’s also important to note that Medicaid has a five-year “look-back” period.  You must provide Medicaid with five years of all financial statements, which will be reviewed carefully.  So, proceeds from the sale of your home will be visible to Medicaid. If you sell your home for less than fair market value during this period, Medicaid will impose a penalty period during which you won’t be eligible for benefits.

How Does Medicaid Treat the Sale of My House in North Carolina?

If you sell your home in Raleigh, North Carolina, and you’re a Medicaid recipient or plan to apply for Medicaid soon, the proceeds from the sale will impact your eligibility. Medicaid counts this money as a resource. If these funds push your total resources above Medicaid’s limit, you will lose your eligibility for Medicaid.

What can you do in such a scenario? You might choose to keep your house.  You might use the proceeds to buy another home, pay off debts, and/or purchase a car. Spending the money on allowable expenses can help bring your resources back within Medicaid’s limits. However, it’s crucial to navigate this process carefully, considering the five-year look back period.

If you do choose to keep your house, it is crucial to understand that North Carolina has what is known as “expanded estate recovery.”  Medicaid can recover any monies paid out on your behalf from your estate, and in North Carolina that includes your house, unless certain exemptions are met.

Seeking Assistance with Medicaid and Estate Planning

Understanding Medicaid’s complex rules can be challenging. Missteps in selling your house or managing the proceeds can have significant consequences. At Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, we strive to simplify these complexities for our clients.

We can help you understand the implications of selling your home and guide you through the necessary steps to maintain your Medicaid eligibility. It’s not just about selling your house; it’s about understanding your entire financial situation and working to protect your assets and future.

We’ll work with you to create a comprehensive estate plan that takes into account your Medicaid needs while protecting your assets and providing for your family’s future. Whether it’s creating a trust, drafting a will, or planning for long-term care, we’re here to support you.

Protect Your Assets, Plan for Your Future

Selling your house when you’re a Medicaid recipient can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. At Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, we’re committed to providing sound, compassionate legal advice to help you navigate Medicaid and estate planning in Raleigh and Wake Forest, North Carolina.

If you’re considering selling your house or if you have questions about estate planning and Medicaid, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us at (919) 782-3500 or contact us online today to speak with a compassionate Raleigh estate planning lawyer. We’re here to help protect your assets and plan for your future.