True or False: The nursing home will take Mom’s house.

Families often make one of their biggest decisions ever based on faulty information. We can separate the truth from Medicaid long-term care fiction.

People frequently contact us during one of the biggest challenges they will face. An aging parent has suffered a health crisis and is going to the nursing home very soon – sometimes that very day. This puts a huge strain on the family, which has many big decisions to make and not much time in which to make them.

To complicate things, there has often been a lot of well-meaning advice handed out by friends, neighbors and relatives about how to qualify for Medicaid assistance to pay for long-term care. Most of this free advice is worth just what it costs. As a result, families are making one of their biggest decisions based on mostly faulty information. So, we understand where the family is coming from – stressed out and burdened by a bunch of half-truths.

To help cut through the clutter, we are going to discuss three of the biggest Medicaid myths that we hear repeated on a regular basis. This article focuses on Medicaid Myth #1: 

Medicaid Myth #1: The nursing will take Mom’s house.

  1. This just isn’t true – unless you have agreed to give it to them or they have filed a lawsuit against you for non-payment of your nursing home bill. The truth is that the nursing home can’t just ‘take’ Mom’s house. And even if it could, it doesn’t want Mom’s home. It just wants to be paid. The nursing home knows that if Mom comes in to the facility straight from the hospital, Medicare will pay for her care for up to 100 days. After this period of time she is on her own.
  2. “On her own” means that Medicare will no longer pay, and until she is eligible to receive Medicaid benefits, she will have to pay the nursing home daily rate, which is usually around $150-$200 per day, out-of-pocket. When she has met all Medicaid eligibility criteria and has spent down to certain point, which we’ll discuss in an upcoming post, she may be eligible to receive Medicaid assistance.
  3. To receive Medicaid a person must be medically needy, must be income eligible, and must be asset eligible.
  • A nursing home will assess a potential new long-term care resident to determine whether he or she is medically needy so as to require a nursing home level of care.
  • Income eligibility means that the person is receiving less than $2,163 per month. If he or she is receiving more income than this, we can often resolve the issue through preparation of a Miller Trust.
  • A person must also be asset eligible to receive Medicaid assistance. We’ll discuss asset eligibility/exempt/non-exempt assets further along in this series.


In the meantime, if you have a loved one that is going to the nursing home soon, or one who is already there and is paying for care out-of-pocket, click here for a free workbook on nursing home crisis planning and give us a call at 501.843.9014 to arrange your free initial consultation. There may be actions that can be taken to save a substantial portion of assets.

The information provided on this blog is intended as general information only for a broad audience. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be acted upon as such. If any reader has questions or concerns about any matter mentioned herein, he/she should contact an Elder Law Attorney or other appropriate professional. If any reader has questions or suggestions about a future topic area that he/she would like to see discussed, please contact the author at