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Medicaid does not take people's houses or other properties while the person is still alive. Even after the person dies, Medicaid rarely does.

Normally, Medicaid does not take people's properties if they are unable to pay medical bills. Unlike banks or mortgage brokers, Medicaid will not try to get a lien or claim against a home for anyone that owes them money. The policy is to keep people and their families in their homes for as long as possible.

Those Rare Circumstances

There are some circumstances where Medicaid will try to take people's property only if no one else is using the home. Let's say Phil, age 56, has severe dementia. It has gotten so bad that he no longer can take care of himself and has to live in a supervised facility. Phil has left behind a house that he owns but can’t take care of.

Phil does not have a wife, children or any other family, but he does have that home. In a case like Phil's, Medicaid will try to take peoples' property. There is no way that Phil or anyone else related to Phil can use the home. The home can be used to help pay off Phil's Medicaid bills.

When Not To Worry

Are you the spouse of someone who owes a lot of money to Medicare? Medicare will not take your property and put you the streets, even if your spouse dies. Do you have children under 21 years old? Medicare will still not try to get your home, even if your spouse dies or if both parents die.

If you are the child of a parent that owes a lot of money to Medicaid and over the age of 21, Medicaid will not try to take the property if you are blind or permanently disabled. If your spouse had to be institutionalized at 55 years of age or older, then you don’t need to worry.