Nursing Home Medicaid for Married Couples – Rental Properties

Here’s a great question that we received just the other day:

My wife has moved into a nursing home. In addition to our home, we own two rental properties. Our income is good, but it is not enough to pay for the nursing home. We are receiving mixed information about whether or not she can get Medicaid and have been told that we have to sell the properties and use those funds to pay for the nursing home. Can you help us understand the rules?

Yes—you can keep the rental properties and qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid allows each recipient to exempt one home, and they treat rental properties as income not as assets. So, depending on how the properties are titled and how the rental agreements are written, you may have to contribute the net rent after expenses to the nursing home bill. That is, the rental income may go towards her patient liability, or you may be able to keep the income. That really depends on the titles and contracts. Also depending on how the properties are titled, the homes may be subject to Medicaid Estate Recovery. An elder law attorney can review the situation and make recommendations to avoid Medicaid Estate Recovery and minimize your wife’s patient liability, but this will take an in-depth analysis of the entire situation. Just know that options exist and that an elder law attorney can help build the best plan for you and your wife focusing on your goals and values. Call our office when you’re ready to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys at (404)843-0121.


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